New Year’s Eve Around the World

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Traveling is my family’s passion. Be it a day trip in Arizona or trekking around Europe, we’re happiest when we’re exploring somewhere new. Since our travel plans are cancelled during the pandemic, we thought it would be fun to wrap up the year with an extra special “New Years Eve Around the World” day-long celebration.

Preparing for the Festivities

  1. Print the NYE Around the World free PDF. It includes the New Years Eve Around the World coloring clock, hourly NYE traditions from around the world, a map to mark off what countries you’ve celebrated with, Happy New Year phrase in each country’s official language, and rough country outlines with the Arizona time each country celebrates New Years Eve.
  2. Fill each balloon with one country’s tradition and how to say Happy New Year in their language (see NYE Around the World PDF below).
  3. Tape the country outline with the AZ time to the balloon or write the time to pop each balloon using a Sharpie.
  4. If you’re feeling brave festive, add some confetti to the balloons before inflating them for an extra special burst of fun.
  5. Gather your materials for each of the activities.
  6. Decorate.

Materials

  • NYE Around the World free PDF
  • Balloons
  • Bell wand or create your own (8 am AZ)
  • Beach ball (9 am AZ)
  • Construction paper – blue, black, yellow, and bright colors (10 am AZ)
  • Board game (11:30 am AZ)
  • Oil lamp or candle (Noon AZ)
  • Salt (2 pm AZ)
  • Coins (3 pm AZ)
  • Raisins (6 pm AZ)
  • Ingredients for a special dinner (7 pm AZ)
  • Scrap paper (8 pm AZ)
  • Cake with coin hidden inside (9 pm AZ) – you may want to make this in advance
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sharpies
  • New Years Eve decorations, party hats, etc.
  • New Years Eve snacks

Planning for New Year’s Eve Around the World

Each hour, plan to:

  • Pop the balloon labeled with the local time.
  • Read and participate in the New Year’s Eve tradition.
  • Say Happy New Year in the country’s official language. You can also google “Happy new year in (language)” for an audio recording of how it should sound.
  • Mark the country on your “Where in the World…” map.
  • Sketch your favorite part of the tradition on the “New Year’s Eve Around the World” clock.
  • You could also listen to music from the country, find pictures of what their celebration looks like, or research a special food.

Timeline and NYE Tradition Ideas

  • 8:00 am AZ: It’s Midnight in Japan! Ring in the new year with Joya no Kane. After watching the sacred custom, ring your bell wand 108 times to realize the magnitude of that many rings.
  • 9:00 am AZ: It’s midnight in Singapore! Create a Wishing Sphere, similar to the ones placed in Marina Bay, with all your hopes and dreams for the new year. Float it in your pool (or bathtub) to be reminded of your wishes for the new year.
  • 10:00 am AZ: It’s midnight in Indonesia! Ring in the new year with a special firework show from Central Park, Jakarta. If you’re feeling crafty, check out this 3D firework project.
  • 11:30 am AZ: It’s midnight in India! Dress up in festive colors and play a family board game.
  • Noon AZ: It’s midnight in Pakistan! Light an oil lamp (or candle) and enjoy a special family meal.
  • 1:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in Seychelles! Give thanks for the year gone by and tell someone you love about what you’re grateful for from the past year.
  • 2:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in Turkey! Sprinkle salt on your front door step to bring peace and abundance to your home in the new year.
  • 3:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in Romania! Toss a spare coin into the river for good luck in the new year.
  • 4:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in Denmark! Jump off the couch and into the new year as the clock strikes midnight.
  • 5:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in the United Kingdom! Sing Auld Lang Syne while thinking of memories of the past and ringing in the new year.
  • 6:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in Azores, Portugal! Eat 12 raisins – one for good luck in each month during the new year.
  • 7:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in the Atlantic Ocean! Pretend you’re cruising at sea and enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner. 
  • 8:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in Argentina! Leave the past behind and throw DIY confetti. It’s common that people in Argentina shred their old documents and use that for their confetti.
  • 9:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in Bolivia! Eat cake. Whoever finds the coin in their piece will have endless luck for the new year. (Warning: use caution!)
  • 10:00 pm AZ: It’s midnight in New York! Watch the ball drop in NYC and dance your way into the new year! Check out NYE 2021 in advance for details on when the festivities begin.

Note

Some of these traditions were found with internet research and some were shared by people who grew up in the countries. Just like everyone in the United States celebrates New Years Eve a little differently, so do people around the world. It’s important to remember that not everyone in each of these countries celebrates in these specific ways. In fact, some countries don’t celebrate the new year on January 1.

What are your family’s special New Year’s Eve traditions?

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