An Intercultural New Year’s Eve

Now to transform this image from Valerie Everett into undergarments…

by: Grayson Leverenz

Yes, this is MBA in the USA, but I think most of you know by now that I love learning about other cultures as much as I love sharing my own. After discovering all kinds of cool traditions while doing my research for the New Year’s Eve post, and talking about them incessantly, Brandon encouraged me to write a post about it.

So…here are my favorite International New Year’s Eve traditions:

  • Spaniards wear red underware and eat a grape with each of the 12 chimes of the midnight bell for good luck. Rumor has it Spanish grape growers invented this tradition one year to get rid of a supply surplus!
  • Mexicans wish while eating a grape with each of the 12 chimes, wear red underware for love and yellow for luck, take luggage outside to inspire travel and hang sheep dolls on their doorknobs for prosperity.
  • Peruvians craft effigies of people or events that displeased them throughout the year, and burn them at midnight to cleanse the old and welcome the new; they also wear yellow underware and eat 12 grapes for luck, and take their luggage around the block to welcome their dream journey.
  • Filipinos wear clothes with circular patterns because they believe circles attract money, and jump high to increase physical height.
  • Venezuelans hold a bill of high value when they toast to encourage wealth.
  • Germans watch Dinner for One, a 17 min British sketch comedy written in the 1920’s and recorded for television in 1963.

As for me, I’ll probably be wearing red & yellow polka dotted underware while popping grapes as the Dick Clark ball drops in Times Square, kissing Brandon, toasting with a $100 bill, and watching Dinner for One after singing Auld Lang Syne and jogging around the block with my suitcase. Ooh, and I’m sure I’ll burn an effigy, but that part I’ll keep to myself!

Author: Grayson Leverenz

Grayson Leverenz founded MBA in the USA® to help international students build networks, find jobs, and have fun in the USA. Hundreds of global professionals have benefited from Grayson’s intercultural workshops, and she has worked with people from Brazil, China, India, South Africa, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to build effective virtual teams and craft brilliant careers.

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  1. Celebrating New Year’s Eve in the USA | MBA in the USA - Cultural insights for international students coming to the US to study - [...] around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve with traditions documented as far back as 2500 BC. Here in the…

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