New Year’s Eve: a group of friends celebrating a New Year’s Eve party together.

New Year’s Eve: an overview of different traditions

For many, New Year’s Eve is the highlight of the year. People celebrate New Year’s Eve by wearing sparkly outfits and enjoying some delicious food and lots of good humour. While there are a lot of similarities in how people around Europe celebrate New Year’s Eve, there are also many quirky and fun things that are unique to each country. Here are some exciting facts about New Year’s Eve and some interesting New Year’s Eve traditions from around Europe.

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5 Facts about New Year’s Eve around the world and our New Year’s Eve tra­di­tions

Who celebrates New Year’s Eve first? Or why do we have fireworks on New Year’s Eve? You can find the answers to these and other questions in our short list of five interesting facts about New Year’s Eve:

  • New Year’s Eve is not celebrated uniformly around the world on 31st December. While we welcome the new year on this day other countries celebrate the end of the year on a different date. For example, China traditionally celebrates New Year on the day of the new moon, which falls between the 21st of January and the 21st of February.

  • People in Samoa are the first to welcome in the new year on New Year's Eve. Their new year begins at 11 am CET. The inhabitants of Baker and Howland Islands are the last to welcome in the new year as the clocks turn midnight there, it is already 1 pm CET on the 1st January.

  • The crew of the ISS can celebrate New Year’s Eve 16 times. That’s how often they cross the International Date Line in space.

  • For many, colourful fireworks are an integral part of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Surprisingly, this New Year’s Eve tradition dates back to the Middle Ages. Even back then a lot of noise was made on the night of the first of January to drive away evil spirits and to start a happy new year. This is the reason why traditional lucky charms such as chimney sweeps, ladybirds, four-leaf clovers or lucky pigs are so popular on New Year’s Eve.

  • Since the earth does not always rotate at the same speed, a leap second may have to be added on 31st December to balance the world time. This makes the last minute of the year one second longer than usual. The Earth Rotation Service (IERS) decides whether to add the second or to ignore it.


Did you know that...

…you can celebrate New Year’s Eve more sustainably? Consider doing without fireworks, as this can reduce litter and particulate pollution in cities. As an alternative, you can make some noise by playing music or even instruments to drive away the evil spirits. Even without fireworks and firecrackers, you can still ring in the new year with lots of fun!


New Year’s Eve customs: group toasts together with champagne.

New Year’s Eve in Europe: Customs of countries throughout Europe

How do other European countries celebrate New Year’s Eve? Which beautiful, but also funny New Year’s Eve traditions are lived there? We present a few New Year’s Eve customs in Europe:

  • Austria: Things get very classical at midnight in Austria. The Austrians and especially the Viennese dance the waltz to see the New Year in.

  • Denmark: The Danes start the New Year in a rather strange but fun way. It is customary to jump into the new year from a chair at midnight. This is supposed to bring good luck.

  • Czech Republic: On New Year’s Eve, the Czechs want to see into the future with the help of an apple. The apple is cut in half and if the core is in the shape of a star, it means that the year will be a lucky one. However, if the core forms a cross, the year may not go as planned.

  • Bulgaria: This New Year’s Eve tradition is especially fun for the children. They decorate a branch of the cornelian cherry tree and then parade around the houses on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, giving everyone a hearty pat on the back with their branches. This is supposed to bring luck and wealth. In return, they receive sweets, biscuits, or some small change.

  • Italy: In Italy, a very special item of clothing takes on a new meaning on New Year’s Eve. It is traditional to slip into the New Year wearing red underwear. It is supposed to promise luck and success.

  • Spain: Grapes play a very special role in the celebration. At the stroke of midnight, a grape is eaten with every stroke of the bell. Those who master the challenge and eat in time can look forward to some good luck in the new year.

  • Portugal: The Portuguese hope to gain more wealth in the coming year by holding a coin in their hand at midnight.

  • Greece: The Greeks have made it a tradition to gamble until the early hours of the morning on New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s a card game or a dice game, if you win, it’s thought to bring you luck for the year and at the same time you’ve made some extra cash.

  • Germany: Carps are a lucky charm in Germany. Many families will eat carp over the holidays. Some people even keep a carp scale in their wallet as it is thought to guarantee that it will be full of cash all year.

If you are planning a party for New Year’s Eve and are expecting international guests, you can share your New Year’s Eve customs. You can find good tips and ideas for your New Year’s Eve party in our articles. Your New Year’s Eve party is sure to be an unforgettable night.


Make sure that...

If a rocket or table firework doesn’t work, don’t light it again to avoid accidents. Leave the dud for a few minutes and then extinguish it with water to be on the safe side.


New Year’s Eve ideas: a group of friends at a New Year’s Eve dinner.

New Year’s Eve Party Planning: tips & checklists

You should plan your New Year’s Eve party in advance so that you can sit back and relax over the festive period. You can avoid feeling stressed by having everything perfectly prepared well in advance. Whether you would like to celebrate as a couple, with your family or maybe you would like to throw a large party – you will find helpful tips and checklists to make the planning easier. You’ll also find some t inspiration especially if you are planning a theme r New Year’s Eve party.

New Year’s Eve party planning
New Year’s Eve fingerfood - delicious recipes for New Year's Eve snacks.

Finger food for New Year's Eve: 5 recipe ideas for quick New Year's Eve snacks

A successful New Year's Eve party also includes delicious snacks that can be eaten during the evening - after all, your guests have a long night ahead of them. The best way to do this is with finger food, which can be eaten easily between meals. In this article, we will show you four delicious savoury recipe ideas and a sweet dessert for a varied New Year's Eve buffet. You're guaranteed to find something to suit everyone's taste.

Finger food for New Year's Eve
Sparkly golden New Year’s Eve decorations and champagne glasses on a table.

Ideas for stylish New Year’s Eve decorations

What would a New Year’s Eve party be without the right decorations? In this article, you’ll find lots of great ideas for decorating your party room to match the New Year’s Eve theme. From the perfect table decoration to sustainable decoration ideas, you’ll find lots of great inspiration here. This will get your guests in the party mood right away and you’ll create the perfect backdrop for your souvenir photos.

Fancy New Year’s Eve decoration
New Year’s Eve games: a group of friends wearing costumes and taking a photo together.

Fun New Year’s Eve games for your party

To create a good mood and lots of laughs at your party, choose the right party games and keep your guests having fun until midnight. You will find some great game ideas and activities in this article. We will show you t games for small and larger groups that will certainly fit into your party planning.

Fun games for New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve with children: Family lighting s sparklers together.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with children

For children, New Year’s Eve is a very special experience: not only can they be amazed by the fireworks, but they can also quite often stay up just as late as adults to in the New Year. Make sure to plan some activities in advance especially for younger children as they can find the evening quite long. In this text, we will show you various game ideas that will make the time fly by. We will also give you some tips on how to celebrate your first New Year’s Eve stress-free with a baby.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with children
New Year's Eve outfits for men and women: a group of smartly dressed party guests.

Stylish New Year's Eve outfits for a glamorous start to the new year.

To end the year in style, you need the perfect New Year's Eve outfit - the more glamour and glitter, the better! We'll show you how to cleverly style outfits with sequins, glitter or velvet, all of which are perfect for celebrating New Year's Eve because of their classy look. We also show you how to put together a comfortable, yet stylish New Year's Eve look with some casual clothes. In this article there are several ideas on how to put together a New Year's Eve party outfit that perfectly suits your style.

New Year's Eve Outfit
Eye shadow, highlighter and make-up brushes on a dressing table.

Ideas for the Perfect New Year’s Eve make-up

To add the finishing touches to your New Year’s Eve outfit you will need some fantastic make-up. We will show you step-by-step how to perfectly apply your make-up for your New Year’s Eve party. Even with little experience, you can quickly create an elegant and unique look for the last night of the year.

The perfect New Year’s Eve makeup



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Image sources: Tsvetkov