Bye bye 2019: Countdown on as the world welcomes 2020!


Published: 2019-12-31 16:15

Last Updated: 2022-08-14 17:10

Bye bye 2019: Countdown on as the world welcomes 2020!
Bye bye 2019: Countdown on as the world welcomes 2020!

The countdown has begun and a new decade is just hours away!

New Year’s Eve is the annual chance to wash off one year and ring in the new one. Each country in the world has its own way to celebrate the beginning of the new year.

How countries celebrate New Year's Eve?

United States

Every year, about two million people gather in New York City’s Times Square to watch the famous "ball drop." This tradition began in 1907 with a 700-pound ball that was slowly lowered down a pole until it reached the ground at midnight.


This is where you need to hit the fruit market and make sure you have grapes on hand, according to travelpulse. At midnight, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes. Well, since you need to eat them every second after midnight, it’s more like stuffing your mouth. Nonetheless, the 12 grapes are for each month of the year and represent warding off bad luck in the new year.


Fire is the theme here. Bonfires are set to help cleanse the past year and start fresh. More importantly, the country lifts its nationwide ban on fireworks for the week leading up to New Year’s Eve, meaning it’s a celebration that rivals the U.S. July 4 holiday.


New Year’s Eve is the biggest holiday celebration in Russia, by far. Red Square is Moscow’s version of Times Square although, curiously, the music and the madness and the martinis and the fireworks are just starting at midnight instead of leading up to it.


Big Ben, baby. At midnight, the great clocktower chimes for tens of thousands of folks who fill the banks of the River Thames for a grand fireworks display. More importantly, lore has it that the first guest to enter your home in Great Britain should be a young male bearing gifts, so as to ensure prosperity in the new year.


A couple of traditions. One is the fire festival in Stonehaven, where professionals swing literal balls of fire over their heads and launch them into the sea, a tradition believed to purify the soul heading into the new year. In a newer tradition, once the old year turns into the new year the Scots like to dress up in their finest—and jump into the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh and take a swim. Kind of like a Polar Bear Plunge with fancy attire.


An onion is the central character of Greek New Year's. First, it is hung on the front door on New Year’s Eve to mark a rebirth for all. On January 1, parents take the onion down from the door and wake their kids by gently tapping the onion on the children's heads.


On New Year’s Eve, Germans are known to eat "krapfen" or donuts filled with jam or chocolate on the inside, and icing on the outside.


Most people usher in the new year with a toast. So do the Swiss. But instead of clinking glasses, they drop ice cream on the floor.


At midnight, everyone must make a list of all the bad—and the good—that happened during the course of the year. The lists are then burned as a way of saying goodbye and starting a new year.