Did you know that people celebrate the New Year differently around the world? Let's explore some of the traditions around the world.

The United States

People in the United States traditionally celebrate the New Year on New Year's Eve. Friends and families gather together and  count down to midnight while watching the Crystal ball drop in Times Square (New York) followed by fireworks  and singing "Auld Lang Syne," which is an Irish song to say goodbye to the old year.

 

New_Year_Ball_Drop_Event_for_2012_at_Times_Square

Food

It is often a tradition to eat certain foods either on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.

Certain food traditions for luck on New Year's Day depends on where their family comes from.

Southerners eat "greens" -- collards, kale, chard -- to improve the chances of gaining "greens" -- money -- during the next 12 months. Along with eating Black Eyed Peas. The peas look like coins and bring good fortune to those who eat them.

Eating golden cornbread might bring good luck, especially if it's made with whole kernels of corn meant to represent gold nuggets.

New Englanders often choose cabbage to go with their pork as a symbol of prosperity.

 

Food in Other Countries

Germany: traditionally eat pork and sauerkraut.

In Sicily: traditionally eat lasagna.

In Spain, it is common to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight to represent 12 months of good luck in the New Year.

In Sweden and Norway, people serve rice pudding with an almond hidden inside. The person who finds the nut will have a year of good fortune.

In Greece, pomegranates are crushed on Greek doorsteps. The seeds represent the amount of luck the homeowner has.

In Japan, good luck comes by eating long noodles without chewing them.

 

Strange Traditions

Not everyone celebrates the new year on Jan. 1. Koreans celebrate New Year's during the first three days of January.

In China, which follows a lunar calendar, celebrates the new year in the spring, a parade is led by a silk dragon, which is the Chinese symbol of strength.

The Dutch welcome the new year with fireworks and bonfires of old Christmas trees.

In Scotland, burning tar barrels symbolizes the end of one year and the beginning of something new.

Some people from the United Kingdom maintain an old tradition called the "lucky bird." The lucky bird is not fowl, but instead, a man with dark hair. The first person to walk through the doorway on New Year’s Day is an indication of luck to come. If the visitor is a man with dark hair, good luck is on the way. The visitor brings items to symbolize good luck, such as a coin for financial success, food and coal for heat.

In Italy, red underwear is thought to encourage good luck for the New Year.

Latin Americans wear yellow underwear to signal joy and wealth.

Filipinos believe that polka dots will encourage prosperity.

In Mexico, people wear white to encourage good health or new clothing to signal a fresh start.