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Quirky customs across Europe for New Year’s Eve!

30th December 2013

Soaring away to exciting destinations is all about enjoying new experiences – and that’s certainly the case for New Year’s Eve! From the funny to the downright dangerous, here’s an eye-opening selection of traditions for New Year celebrations:


As proven by the fact that festive gifts are not even opened until the ‘Day of the Three Kings’ on 6 January, Spain likes to do things a little differently to its European counterparts. That’s the case with New Year’s Eve too, followed up with the curious custom of eating twelve grapes – one for every chime of the clock at midnight. It’s also considered lucky to pop on new red underwear for New Year’s Eve – think of it as another way of ensuring next year won’t be pants!


It’s more than just the atmosphere that’s bright and buzzing in Berlin on New Year’s Eve! To make sure the night goes with a bang, the locals have a penchant for throwing rockets from windows. It certainly adds to the excitement! For a just as sparkling time, reach the peak of Teufelsberg to watch the fireworks from a much safer distance. Feeling fit? Give the Berliner Silversterlauf a go. With an elevation level of 170m, this annual 10km run is not for the faint-hearted.


Feeling hungry in Hungary on New Year’s Eve? Not a problem, as the festivities begin with a feast of gargantuan proportions. Fried pork takes centre stage as piglets are said to bring good luck. But by the time the clock strikes twelve, it really is best to be in Budapest! Known simply as Szilveszter in Hungarian, it’s a very special night for everyone in the city. The parties at Vorosmarty Square, Nyugati Square or Oktogon, have free live music, DJ discos and fireworks lasting well into the early hours. Be prepared for plenty of pig’s feet after – it’s a delicacy that’ll work wonders on hangovers!


The city’s Old Town Square is a fitting place for the New Year’s Eve celebrations as its world-famous Astronomical Clock is here too! Amazingly, it has been ticking along happily for more than 600 years. Live it up with thousands of revelers thrilled by the fireworks, or head to a more peaceful spot at Petrin Hill, where the sparks of light glisten on the mirror-like waters of Vltava River.


With the classic sounds of bagpipes ringing in the Hogmany festivities, Scotland certainly knows how to ‘pipe’ up the celebrations! Be sure to bring plenty of gifts too – the ‘first-footing’ custom means that the first person to step in each home in the New Year should come bearing gifts, ranging from whisky to herring. Fire parades are incredibly popular too, especially at Stonehaven. And who could forget? This is the home of ‘Auld Lang Syne’!

December 30, 2013 at 17:05