End of year celebrations: six traditions to experience around the world

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Published 2019-12-23 12:06

In many places around the world, the holiday season is an opportunity to share good times with family and friends. However, each country has its own peculiarities! Here are some traditions that make Christmas and New Year's Day super exciting...

United States: the Christmas pickle

Some Americans have taken the habit of hiding a pickle-shaped decoration in their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. On the morning of the 25th, the first person to find the decoration receives a small reward as an additional gift. A great tip for receiving more gifts! Some simply believe that finding the pickle is a guarantee of luck for the coming year.

Canada: polar bear swimming

In Canada, some cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax organize a swim in the icy water every year on January 1. During this time of year, temperatures are below freezing in most regions of the country: it is therefore quite a challenge to dive into the water! These events are often an opportunity to raise funds for a cause or charity, which allows to start the year on a generous note.

South Africa: two parties for the price of one

The people of Cape Town, South Africa, have the opportunity to celebrate the New Year twice: once during the night of December 31 to January 1 and once again January 2 as part of the Coon Carnival. This very festive event is organized each year to remember the period of slavery when black people could not celebrate New Year's Day at the same time as white people.

South Korea: couples' everywhere!

In South Korea, Christmas day would be the most difficult day for single people. Indeed, December 25 is a day to celebrate mainly couples and love. Restaurants and cinemas are taken by storm and many lovers go out walking the streets hand in hand. In an attempt to save the day, singles can always participate in one of the big speed-datings which are organized on the evening of the 24th in the biggest cities of the country.

In Brazil: beach party!

The advantage of spending the holidays in the southern hemisphere is that it is sunny and warm. Admittedly, there is no magic of snow, but Brazil has other assets. So, for the New Year, many Brazilians gather at the beach. After the 12 strokes of midnight, the tradition consists of jumping into the sea fully clothed and making a wish for each wave one crosses. You can come back to the beach after seven waves, but without turning your back on the sea.

In the Netherlands: gifts ahead of time

Those who are always in a hurry to receive their Christmas gifts should seriously consider the Netherlands as an expat destination. Indeed, in this country, we offer gifts on December 6, during Saint Nicholas. This celebration is of great importance: Saint Nicholas is welcomed into the country by the Queen and his arrival is broadcasted on television.