New Years Traditions Around Europe

Greece:

On New Years Day, families break a pomegranate on their doorstep. The scattering of the seeds represents happiness, good health and prosperity. It is also a superstition that it is lucky for a child to be the first to step over the doorstep.

Bulgaria:

The New Year is even more important than Christmas. The President addresses the nation at midnight. Afterwards, everyone joins the horo, which is a traditional ring-dance. On New Years Day, people prepare banitza, a traditional Bulgarian dish. The dish is a cheese pie with lucky charms and messages placed inside.

Spain:

At the stroke of midnight, there is a tradition to eat 12 grapes at the sound of each bell in Madrid. This is a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.

The Netherlands:

A Dutch comedian will put on a show making fun of Dutch celebrities and politicians on New Years Eve. The following day, many people will travel to the sea near Scheveningen and take a polar plunge.

Portugal:

The Portuguese have many New Year traditions. They eat 12 raisins while making 12 wishes during the time that the clock struck midnight. Pot lids being banged together on the street often follow this. The following day, the first of the New Year, people can be found bathing in the sea.
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