New Year's Eve and New Year's Day are celebrated in a variety of ways around the world, with a universal view that the start of a new year should be a festive and happy time. From the special foods we eat to the way we dress for the occasion, there are countless ways cultures around the world get into the new year's spirit.
And since weddings are also signs of a new beginning and because they bring along their own spirit of joy, we thought you'd enjoy taking a look at some multi-cultural traditions that mark the start of a new year. Who knows, maybe you'll want to incorporate some of these traditions into your wedding day too.
Brazilians wear white-only attire on New Year's Eve to attract peace and happiness. Anyone remember Solange's all-white attire wedding? Yep, that's certainly a trick you can pull of at a wedding by requesting a color-specific dress code for all guests. This one makes for really gorgeous wedding photos.
In the American South, eating black-eyed peas is a symbol of welcoming prosperity for the coming year. Chileans eat lentils, and still other cultures reach for round beans that are thought to bring good fortune for the year to come. While beans may not be so appealing as a side dish at your wedding, you may consider having a chat with your catering team about creative ways to incorporate these lucky coin-shaped beans into your wedding-day menu.
Estonians eat seven times on New Year's Day, in hopes the next year will bring plenty of bounty. Rather than squeezing seven courses in at your wedding, you can surely offer guests plentiful food options by setting up seven stations of à la carte menu items.
A Dozen Grapes
The Spanish eat 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight, one for each chime of the bell, as a token of good luck. Consider incorporating grapes and other plentiful fruits into your wedding centerpieces for their ultimate luck-inducing powers.
Bags of Donuts
In the Netherlands, people celebrate the new year by frying up some oliebollen, which is a fried dough ball that's kind of like a small round beignet. Bags of little round donuts covered in powdered sugar served up as late night snacks at the wedding? Yes, please!
A Turkish new year tradition is to throw pomegranates and see how much they burst. If they're plentiful, it's thought to be a symbol of a good year to come. While we don't condone throwing around the bright red fruit at your wedding, incorporating whole pomegranates into your centerpieces or using pomegranate juice in your specialty cocktails is a festive twist on the tradition.
Last but not least, the classic Americana New Year's Eve kiss is a must to incorporate into your wedding day. Have the DJ throw on your favorite tune right as the clock strikes twelve and end the best day ever on a high note—by kissing your new spouse, of course.