8 Unusual New Year's Eve Traditions From Around the World
Including wearing red underwear and eating 12 grapes.
In the U.S., New Year's Eve means watching the ball drop, champagne toasts and kisses at midnight.
Countries around the world, however, each put their own spin on the changing of the calendar. (Want to see for yourself? You can watch live streams of the parties here.)
Here's how New Year's Eve is celebrated around the world, from Mexico City to Hong Kong.
This ancient Greek city has seen quite a few years come and go, but it's still a great place to enjoy New Year's Eve celebrations. Lycabettus Hill, the city's highest point, and Areopagus Hill, near the Acropolis, attract plenty of people gathering to watch fireworks light up the night sky.
German revelers can watch fireworks explode over the Quadriga sculpture on Brandenburg Gate, which, according to History.com, was built by King Frederick William II in the late 18th century to welcome visitors into the city. A free outdoor party, complete with DJs and live music, also rages from Brandenburg Gate all the way to the Victory Column, two kilometers away.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you're in Dubai for New Year's Eve, you're almost guaranteed to have a good spot to watch the fireworks. They're launched from various landmarks around the city, including the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel and the sprawling, manmade Palm Jumeirah archipelago.
Hong Kong, China
Just like in New York, Hong Kong's Times Square is the hotspot for New Year's Eve celebrations, complete with a replica ball drop, according to Fodor's. Hong Kong also puts on an impressive fireworks display, with a finale that sends a pyrotechnic dragon sizzling across the night sky.
London, United Kingdom
With Big Ben ringing it in at the stroke of midnight, you couldn't miss the start of the new year in London if you tried. You can also watch fireworks explode over the city's skyline from the banks of the Thames River.
Mexico City, Mexico
Prepare to party if you're in Mexico City for New Year's Eve. Street parties fill the capital with music and dancing, while a fireworks display illuminates the city's main square at midnight, Men's Journal reports.
Tradition says you can cultivate good luck in the new year by wearing red underwear, carrying empty suitcases down the street and eating 12 grapes—making a wish on each one—just before midnight.
Moscow's colorful Red Square provides a dramatic backdrop for New Year's Eve fireworks displays. They're also easily visible from the banks of the Moskva River, away from the bustling crowds of Red Square.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
More than 2 million people gather on Rio's famous Copacabana Beach to watch New Year's Eve fireworks, according to the Travel Channel.
Party goers wear white, which Brazilians say symbolizes luck and good fortune in the new year, and toss flowers into the ocean.