New Year’s Superstitions From Around the World

January 1, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

New Year’s comes with superstitions from a range of cultures, some of them very interesting.

Here are some superstitions from around the world:


Kiss people at midnight to not be lonely over the new year, a tradition that stems from ancient Europe.


Bang white bread against the walls in order to chase out the bad luck.

“Eat pork and love off the fat of the land–eat chicken and scratch the rest of the year.”


As a family, burn a scarecrow at midnight. The scarecrow represents the negativity in the previous year.


Jump seven waves for good luck

-United States

Eat blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day to bring good luck into the new year.

Celebrate the new year at Times Square in New York City, a tradition that started in 1906.


Smash a pomegranate outside one’s door at midnight to bring good fortune


Touching ashes as a way to bring good luck into the new year

-Spain and other Spanish speaking countries

Eat 12 grapes, hoping to bring 12 months of good luck.

-Latin America

Wear colorful underwear. Different colors mean different things, such as yellow signifying prosperity, wealth, and success; and red signifying passion, romance, and love, according to the Underwear Expert.

-Japan, Vietnam, and China

Don’t clean or sweep on New Year’s Day, in order not to sweep and clean away all of the good luck of the new year.


Shoot off fireworks on New Year’s Eve to send out the old year and welcome the New Year (where the current tradition around the world comes from).

Have every door and window open in the house to allow the old year to go out.


Wear polka dots, because circles represent prosperity.

Jangle coins in the pocket to “attract wealth.”


A man enters the house first, because if a woman enters the house first it’s bad luck

Peel an orange and finish peeling at as the clock strikes midnight. If the orange peel hasn’t broken then good luck will follow you for the entire new year.

Throw food at the ceiling, and if it sticks it will be a prosperous new year.

Eat pork on New Year’s Day to bring good luck.

Don’t wash clothes on New Year’s Day or you’ll wash someone out of the family. (death)

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