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5 New Year’s Eve Traditions from around the world

3 hands holding lighted sparkler candles - illustrative image from the article "New Year's Eve traditions around the world”

We are approaching new year!

Preparations for the last night of 2021 vary from country to country and culture to culture, including the New Year’s Eve menu and other customs that take place to celebrate this moment.

Learn about some New Year’s Eve traditions around the world!

1. 12 sultanas for 12 wishes

This tradition, although also adopted in Portugal, was born in Spain, in the 20th century, as a way of disposing of the production of grapes. With each chime, a grape (or sultana) is eaten and a wish is made, for the new year.

Nowadays, this tradition is usually accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine. If you are not a fan of sultanas, you can always replace them with another small dry fruit, such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts. If you prefer a less conventional alternative, you can also opt for blueberries, raspberries, or even lupins!

Have you already thought about your wishes for 2022?

2. Lucky piglets

In Austria and Germany, despite the dinner menu includes pork, the table is also decorated with little pigs made of marzipan (marzipanschwein), as these are symbols of luck. Furthermore, it is usual to make piglets out of various materials to be offered as a souvenir and good luck wishes for the new year.

3. Cotechino with lentils

In Italy it is common to serve cotechino, a kind of traditional sausage, with lentils. The lentils represent luck and wealth, a special request for the year to come.

4. Kransekage

In Norway bottles (usually wine or sparkling wine) are used as the base for a small tree made of biscuit or marzipan rings, which are decorated as you wish.

This is possibly the most fun New Year’s Eve tradition, which can fill a nice end-of-year afternoon, with the little ones.

5. Breaking crockery

In Denmark, among other cultures, family and friends break crockery, on each other’s doorsteps. The idea is that the more shards they have on their doorstep the next day, the more people want to wish them luck and the luckier they will get. A funny tradition, unless it’s Costa Verde’s porcelain, of course.

Of the New Year’s Eve traditions, which is your favourite?


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