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22 New Years Eve Traditions To Try In 2022

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Want to kick off the New Year right? Why not start a new tradition as we leave 2022 behind and head into the (hopefully bright) 2023? Here are 22 international ideas to spice up your New Years Eve traditions and leave all bad luck in the past year.

1. Jump Waves

If you live near a body of water, you may want to try this tradition from Brazil. Every year on New Year’s Eve, Brazilians jump over seven waves and make a wish for each one to bring good fortune their way. Of course, in some places, this could be a pretty chilly endeavor. 

But hey, according to the Wim Hof method, cold water immersion has amazing health benefits!

2. Kiss Someone You Love

Friends celebrating the New Year 2016

The midnight smooch is already a famous tradition, but it’s been around longer than you may know. According to German and English folklore, the first person you make contact with can influence your destiny for the rest of the year. 

Be sure to kiss someone you love. And if they’re the lucky type, even better!

3. Get Yourself a Good Luck Charm

Lucky symbols, totems and charms are common throughout many cultures as a way to increase good fortune. In Germany and Austria, pigs, mushrooms, clovers and chimney sweeps are thought to bring good luck. 

You can buy miniature figures for yourself or gift them to friends and family.

4. Throw Some Bread Around

In Ireland, people bang Christmas bread on their walls to scare off evil spirits and start the year off on the right note. To be extra sure luck is coming your way, Irish families give their house a good cleaning afterward to greet the New Year.

5. Make a Wish

Wish making is a tradition across many cultures as the New Year begins. In Singapore, people write their New Year’s wishes on giant white balls and send them down the Singapore River, a tradition that’s turned into an international event.

Of course, sending your own ball down a river may not be the best way to wish the environment good luck. So how about starting your own tradition? 

Guests can write their desires for the New Year on slips of paper and put them in the “wishing jar.” To make it even simpler, friends and family can stick to one word wishes like peace, abundance, or joy. It’s sort of like New Year’s resolutions without all the stress!

Related: 35 New Years Resolutions For A Better Year

6. Jump Off a Chair

You may want to be a little cautious with this tradition, but in Denmark, people jump off of a chair at midnight to leap into the New Year and bring good luck. Just be sure you have a soft place to land!

7. Express Your Gratitude

Close up woman hand writing on notebook

Gratitude can be a powerful force in your life, so why not put it to work for the New Year? Try writing a letter of thanks to those people who impacted your life in a special way over the last year. It will help you appreciate all the good things that happened over the last 12 months and send out good vibes for the next year to come.

Or, if you prefer to keep it more personal, fill a notebook with all your favorite moments from 2022!

As writer Amy Collete says, “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”

8. Make a Manifestation Board

Want to keep your goals for 2023 in front of you all year long? Cut out images of the things you want to manifest in the coming year and attach them to a peg board. You may be surprised how a little visualization can create change in your life. 

9. Set the Old Year on Fire

In Mexico and Ecuador, people make an effigy to represent the old year (or año Viejo) which they burn on New Year’s Eve to do away with the past year and start the new one afresh.

Sometimes the figure is simply an old man, but revelers do have some fun with the tradition and sometimes represent the old year with celebrities, politicians or other characters, which symbolize something they want to do away with in the New Year.  

10. Clear the Clutter

Admittedly, cleaning out your closet doesn’t feel that fun when you’re doing it. But getting rid of things you no longer need or use by donating will leave you with an incredibly light feeling as you move into the New Year.

Even if it’s just a couple of drawers, one section of your closet or even your jewelry box, unburdening yourself of unneeded objects can bring you joy. Just ask Marie Kondo!

11. Chant Your Way Into the New Year

Love chanting at your local temple or in yoga class? Connect with the universal energy by inviting a group of friends to “om” their way into the new year with you and get the good vibes flowing for 2023!

12. Take a New Year’s Eve Walk

Back view portrait of young African-American woman with backpack enjoying hiking in forest lit by sunlight, copy space

Put your best foot forward for the New Year by getting your body moving and connecting with nature. Whether it’s a serious hike or just a walk around the park, appreciating the beauty around you is a wonderful way to start the New Year. 

13. Wear Polka Dots

You’ve heard before how important it is to dress for the position you want, not the one you have. In the Philippines, polka dots represent coins. So each year on New Year’s Eve, locals dress up in polka dots, eat circular fruits and fill their pockets with coins to bring a year of financial prosperity. Other cultures celebrate with the color red, which is said to encourage finding love in the coming year. Don’t see anyone boasting this passionate color? Many people celebrate this way with red underwear. 

14. Break a Plate

Out with the old and in with the new….dinner plates? In Denmark, celebrations include breaking plates to bring in good luck and friends. Although rarely practiced anymore, participants used to grab their old or chipped porcelain and throw them on the ground in front of their friends’ front door. The more broken plates you have on New Year’s Day indicates more luck and friends in the new year. Don’t want the cleanup of broken plates? In Turkey, it’s customary to smash a pomegranate to bring prosperity and abundance. 

15. Countdown To Midnight With Grapes

Sure, you’ve probably watched the ball drop in New York City’s Times Square. But have you ever watched the clock anxiously with a handful of grapes? This Spanish tradition takes the countdown one step further as each person tries to eat twelve grapes before the stroke of midnight. Each grape represents a month of the year, and each grape that’s eaten between the first to the last chime of the twelve o’clock represents a month of abundance.  

Related: A Look At The Most Popular December Global Holidays

16. Invite A Tall, Dark & Handsome Man Into Your Home

In Scotland, Hogmanay is complete with first footing, a custom in which the first person to enter your home in the new year is tall, dark, handsome, and bearing gifts. For a fully Scottish experience, be sure to listen to Auld Lang Syne, with lyrics from the Scottish poet Robert Burns. 

17. Watch The First Sun Rise 

In Japan, this practice is called Hatsuhinode. Each year on New Year’s Eve, people come together on beaches, mountain tops, and anywhere else with a killer view. As the first sunrise peaks over the horizon, they pray for a fresh start. 

Cook A Celebratory Meal

Company of friends of different ages or family gathering for Christmas or New Year party dinner at festive table. Flat-lay of human hands holding glasses with drinks, feasting and celebrating holiday together, top view.

Food plays an important role in celebrating. If you aren’t sure what to serve at your shindig, here are some popular picks across the globe. 

18. Eat Some Fish

Eating fish is considered to be lucky because they swim in only one direction: forward! If nothing else, it’s a great metaphor for leaving the old year behind as you embrace the new one. 

19. Bake a Lucky Dessert

Satisfy your sweet tooth and test your luck with this tradition from Greece. First, a coin is baked into a sweet bread called vasilopita. When the cake is served, whoever gets the piece with the coin is said to have good luck for the rest of the year.

Just be sure not to chomp down too hard, or someone could end up at the dentist.

20. Eat a Peppermint Pig

Smashing foods and objects is a New Year’s tradition in many countries, but upstate New York has its own take on it. In the Victorian culture of the late 19th century, pigs were thought to symbolize good health, happiness and prosperity.

In the 1880s, a candymaker in Saratoga Springs, NY started producing pigs made of peppermint candy. Families would smash the figurines with a mini hammer and pass the pieces around to eat so that everyone had a piece of good luck – a tradition that is observed to this day!

21. Serve Some Lentils

In Italy and many other countries around the world, lentils are considered good luck as their small, round shape resembles coins. Italian families serve lentils on New Year’s Eve with the idea that the more you eat, the more money you’ll encounter in the coming year. You’ll get extra kudos if you’re eating lentils at the stroke of midnight. 

22. Make Hoppin’ John

This dish utilizes black eyed peas and is often served on tables in the South. The tradition started back in the Civil War when families considered themselves lucky to dine on black eyed peas on New Year’s Day, indicating a means to get through the winter. 

Happy New Year! 

New Year’s Eve is a great opportunity to get together with friends and loved ones to celebrate. As you plan your New Year’s Eve party, skip the noisemakers and spice things up with a fun new tradition—especially if your resolution is to try new things in the coming year. 

However you decide to celebrate, Happy New Year!  

You might also be interested in:  The 29 Best Fitness Gadgets To Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Resolution

22 New Year’s Eve Traditions To Try In 2022:

  1. Jump Waves
  2. Kiss Someone You Love
  3. Get Yourself a Good Luck Charm
  4. Throw Some Bread Around
  5. Make a Wish
  6. Express Your Gratitude
  7. Jump Off a Chair
  8. Make a Manifestation Board
  9. Set the Old Year on Fire
  10. Clear the Clutter
  11. Chant Your Way Into the New Year
  12. Take a New Year’s Eve Walk
  13. Wear Polka Dots
  14. Break a Plate
  15. Countdown To Midnight With Grapes
  16. Invite A Tall, Dark & Handsome Man Into Your Home
  17. Watch The First Sun Rise 
  18. Eat Some Fish
  19. Bake a Lucky Dessert
  20. Eat a Peppermint Pig
  21. Serve Some Lentils
  22. Make Hoppin’ John

Sherry De Alba

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