Happy New Year 2023: How People All over the World Celebrate New Year
Have a Joyous New Year 2023! Some examples of how people around the world ring in the New Year include street fights in Peru, the Hungarian Time Wheel tradition, the throwing of furniture out of windows in Johannesburg, and the tradition of spending New Year’s Eve at a cemetery in Chile to be near the graves of loved ones who have passed away.
Many people in China, Japan, the US, UK, Australia, and other places celebrate the New Year with a big fireworks show. In India, people usually gather with family and friends to count down to the New Year. Times Square, with its world-famous ball drop on New Year’s Eve, is the best place to see the fireworks. At midnight, a 12-foot glittering sphere weighing 11,875 pounds is dropped along with celebrity music acts, light shows, and tons of confetti. This event has been shown in many Hollywood movies as millions of people celebrate the big night when the clock strikes 12.
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Rotterdam in the Netherlands is thought to be one of the first places in the world to celebrate New Year’s, and the nearby city of Amsterdam is known for its amazing New Year’s Eve light show. White is thought to bring good luck in the New Year, so people at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, wear white and crowd onto the beach to drink champagne, dance to samba music, and watch the huge fireworks.
Another tradition in Brazil and other South American countries is to wear underwear of a certain color to predict your luck for the next year. For example, red underwear is worn to find love and romance, green for good health, golden-colored undies for wealth, and white for peace. In Peru, a strange New Year’s tradition is to have street fights to settle old disputes and start the new year with a clean slate.
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This strange New Year’s tradition began in Cusco, which is in the province of Chumbivilcas. It is part of a local festival called Takanakuy and is still done all over Peru. In Denmark, unused dishes and plates are kept until December 31, when they are lovingly smashed against the doors of friends and family. It is thought to be good luck to have a pile of broken dishes on your doorstep for New Year’s, and people also climb on chairs and jump at midnight to bring good luck and scare away evil spirits.
As part of another New Year’s tradition in Denmark, Norway, Finland, and other Nordic countries, the Queen of Norway invite royal guests from all over the world to help make a Nordic dessert called “kransekage.” This is a tall, layered cake with marzipan frosting that is often decorated with flags and other ornamental items. In Spain, it’s a New Year’s tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight. This is meant to bring good luck for the next 12 months and to keep people’s appetites and health in check for the rest of the year. This is also a common practice in Latin American countries.
On the other hand, in Tokyo, Japan, there is a traditional temple bell-ringing ceremony where bells are rung 108 times to represent the cleansing of 108 desires and worries and a new start for the New Year. This is because 108 is the number of worldly desires you must overcome to reach nirvana. Sydney, Australia, has a well-known New Year’s tradition: fireworks are set off near the Sydney Opera House, and the harbor bridge in the city becomes the place to be to see the unforgettable show.
The best parts of the New Year celebrations in Edinburgh, Scotland, are the crazy dances on the streets, the amazing fireworks at midnight, the music concerts, and the big street party outside Edinburgh Castle, which starts with a torchlight march and ends with a huge open-air ceilidh. Budapest, Hungary’s capital, thinks that the famous Time Wheel or national hourglass stops working on New Year’s Day because it mysteriously runs out of sand on New Year’s Eve. So, Hungarians come together to turn the wheel 180 degrees so that the sand can start flowing again and it can start working again on New Year’s Day. People believe that keeping this tradition has brought them peace and prosperity over the years.
Locals in Mexico celebrate the New Year by getting together with their families and painting their houses in new colors that represent their hopes and dreams for the coming year. For example, a red house means that the family is looking for love, while a yellow house means that the family is looking for a new job. In London, United Kingdom, there are street parades, like one that goes by Big Ben, as well as holiday parties and fireworks at midnight by the river Thames.
In Cape Town, South Africa, people celebrate New Year’s Eve for three days. At the famous Victoria and Alfred waterfront, there is a free event with music, light shows, and great food from more than 80 restaurants and food trucks. Johannesburg, which is in South Africa, has a tradition of throwing furniture and appliances out of high-rise windows on New Year’s Day.
People in Ireland believe that you can bang away good luck, so on New Year’s Eve, they hit the walls of their homes with bread to get rid of evil spirits and bad luck. But nothing beats the weird New Year’s tradition in Chile, where families spend the night with their dead loved ones by sleeping at the cemetery. It is thought to bring peace to the soul, and the tradition started when a family jumped over a cemetery fence to spend New Year’s Eve with their dead father’s grave.