New Year Traditions from Across the Globe

huge pinecone lit is colors hangs above crowd of thousands of people
The annual New Years Eve Tradition in Flagstaff, AZ: The Pinecone Drop | Discover Flagstaff CVB photo

Have you ever noticed the different New Year traditions from across the globe? Our family tradition is a pork and sauerkraut dinner of hungry-man-sized portions.

I just read about a fascinating Spanish tradition I was unaware of. As the church bell tolls midnight in this ritual, celebrants eat one grape for each dingdong. Since the bell rings twelve times, twelve grapes are eaten.

The taste of each grape could reveal how the coming year will unravel for you. If, say, the sixth grape is lovely and juicy, you could look forward to good fortune in June, the sixth month. If the seventh grape were sour, watch out for bad luck in July.

I don’t know what keeps people from selecting only succulent, juicy grapes. Except, perhaps, the time of the year. December 31 is not precisely the prime grape growing time in Spain.

I want to add this custom to my New Year festivities, but unfortunately, I am in an airplane right now, over some remote spot on the Great Plains—nothing like holiday air travel: Minneapolis to Phoenix to Flagstaff.

And when I get home to Arizona, there will be no church bell.

Although the “pinecone” will drop at Heritage Square in Historic Downtown Flagstaff at midnight, only two hours after I land at the Flagstaff Airport.

A hundred people gathering for a pinecone drop? Now that’s what UNSTOPPABLE Stacey calls some real dingdongs!

Have you heard of other New Year traditions from across the globe? Or do you have a ritual you celebrate on New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve? Please add a comment and tell us about it.

Today I can’t stop exploring the world (I blame it on my father’s Viking blood) and write about my adventures – many as a solo woman traveler. Life isn’t always rosy; I lost my firecracker reasoning skill to head injury in a horrific rollover accident that should have taken my life. Brain injury hasn’t stopped me from traveling, although it sometimes makes for amusing travel antidotes that I hope you will enjoy. That’s why they call me “UNSTOPPABLE!”

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