With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, you may be preparing to attend a party to imbibe in beverages and watch the ball drop on TV. Worldwide, a variety of different traditions exist to celebrate the new year. Although you may be familiar with some of the existing traditions where you live, you may remain unaware of the traditions in other parts of the world. How do different parts of the country and the world celebrate the new year?

The Ball

In the US, the biggest New Year’s Eve celebration occurs in Times Square, where a huge ball drops from a pole, counting down the moments until the new year begins. The first New Year’s Eve celebration occurred here in 1904, which was marked by an elaborate fireworks celebration. However, in 1906, fireworks were banned in the city, which is how the tradition of dropping a giant ball originated. The first New Year’s Eve ball was constructed out of iron and wood, weighing over 700 pounds.

Black-Eyed Peas

In the south, people gather together on New Year’s Day to eat a feast meant to bring in prosperity, which includes a heaping serving of Hoppin’ John stew as well as some cornbread and collard greens. The black-eyed peas in Hoppin’ John are meant to symbolize coins, so the more you eat, the more prosperity you will experience the next year. Because cornbread is gold and collard greens are green, both foods symbolize financial prosperity. Eat up!


In Spain, people eat 12 green grapes at the strike of midnight to ensure that the new year brings plenty of good luck. As soon as it’s midnight, you must eat one grape each time the clock strikes, which equals twelve grapes in a minute. Each grapes symbolizers a month of good luck.


The Chinese celebrate the new year using a different calendar than the rest of the world. Marked with elaborate fireworks, the noise is supposed to ward off any evil spirits and bad fortune for the upcoming year.

Wearing Colorful Undergarments

In some Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, your underwear color indicates how the next year will turn out for you. If you wear red undies, you will bring in passion and romance, and if you wear yellow knickers, you’ll attract success and prosperity into your life. If your life feels particularly hectic, maybe you should wear blue underwear to attract more tranquility in the new year. If you would like to improve your health and sense of well-being, wear green undergarments. Even if you don’t believe this, it’s just more fun to wear colorful underwear as you ring in the new year, so don’t be shy.

Molten Lead

Another interesting new year tradition occurs in Austria and Germany, where people heat up molten lead in spoons and immediately pour it into cold water. The shape your molten lead forms into is supposed to predict your following year. Isn’t this an interesting method of fortune telling?

Polka Dots and Lots of Noise

In the Philippines, New Year’s Eve is anything but quiet or subdued. Residents dress in polka dots because the circular shape of the dots is meant to represent financial abundance. Locals fill their pockets with change and shake them to attract more prosperity into their lives. In order to invite more good luck into their homes, all doors are left open.

Like the Chinese, the Filipinos make lots of noise to keep bad spirits at bay. Not only are fireworks going off, but residents bang on pots and pans and blare their car horns as well.  


When the clock strikes midnight, many people cozy up to their loved ones or even strangers to kiss on New Year’s Eve. Some believe this helps ward off loneliness in the next year. According to some legends, kissing was also supposed to ward off evil spirits back in the day. If you want to kiss someone, make sure it’s a person you actually like so you don’t attract a dud the following year.

How will you celebrate the new year? We recommend gathering your friends in front of you propane fireplace for the countdown. Make sure that you don’t run out of propane, which signifies bad fortune for your upcoming year. Sign up for our automatic propane delivery services at DiSanto Propane for an abundance of fuel. Contact us today for the best propane services in upstate New York.