Happy Lunar New Year!

As we celebrate the Lunar New Year, we are also reminded of all the different ways New Year’s Eve and Day are celebrated around the world. The first place to ring in the new year is Kiritimati,  Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean. The last places to welcome the new year are American Samoa, Baker Island, and Howland Island. 

Here are a few unique traditions to ring in the new year: 

  • In Denmark, smash plates by the front doors of family and friends for good luck.  
  • In the Southern United States, enjoy a meal of black-eyes peas.  
  • In Japan, joya-no-kane is the annual ringing of temple bells, 108 times, in temples throughout the country. 
  • In Spain, eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. 
  • In many South American countries, wear red undergarments for love, yellow for money, blue for health, white for peace, etc. 
  • In Greece, hang an onion by your front door. 
  • In Scotland, the first footing, or hogmanay, says the first person to enter through your door in the new year should be a tall, dark haired male with gifts, signifying good luck all year. 
  • In the Philippines, wear polka dots and eat round foods. 
  • In Colombia, take an empty suitcase around the block. 
  • In many countries, watch fireworks, clean the house, open windows, bang pots and pans, kiss a loved one, make a resolution, sing, and more! 

Practice saying “Happy New Year” in languages around the world: 

  • 🇺🇸English: Happy New Year  
  • 🇪🇸Spanish: Feliz Año Nuevo 
  • 🇫🇷French: Bonne Année 
  • 🇮🇹Italian: Buon anno 
  • 🇩🇪German: Frohes Neues Jahr 
  • 🇨🇳Mandarin: Xinnian Kuaile 
  • 🇵🇹Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo 
  • 🇷🇺Russian: S novym godom 
  • 🇹🇷Turkish: Mutlu yıllar 
  • 🇸🇪Swedish: Gott nytt år 
  • 🇦🇱Albanian: Gezuar Vitin e Ri 
  • 🇧🇩Bengali: Shubho Noboborsho 

Interested in learning more about New Year traditions? Check out these books here, here, and here.