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New Year’s Celebrations Around the Globe

New Year’s Celebrations Around the Globe

Have you ever wondered how other countries ring in the New Year? A few of our international staff members share what their native countries do to celebrate this special time of year!

The Netherlands

“Most Dutch people stay at home until midnight to celebrate New Year’s Eve with their family and friends,” says Caroline van den Bogaard, an international career coach based in The Netherlands. “They play board games or watch famous stand-up comedians.” At midnight, everybody goes outside on the street to celebrate the New Year with their own fireworks. “People typically spend significant amounts of money on fireworks. Into the early hours of January 1st, the sky is filled with smoke and fireworks.”

They eat oliebollen and appelbeigneits, sweet oily pastry that are typically only enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. They also have toast with a glass of champagne at midnight. 
The streets are deserted in the evening and public transport does not run. Many restaurants and pubs close until after midnight. “On New Year’s Day, people visit their family to wish them happy New Year. Some even dive into the cold (!) North Sea, canals and lakes on January 1st.”


“In Brazil, it is tradition to wear a white outfit to New Years’ festivities,” shares Norma Russo, a Brazilian-born international career coach who is now based in the United States. “We also bring the biggest bill we have, such as a $100.00 bill, and lift it into the air at midnight.”


Franziska Borders, an IMPACT Group global researcher, shares a unique tradition from her native German culture. “We place a little figure made from lead on a spoon and heat it until it becomes liquid. Then we quickly put it in water. The figure it becomes is our fortune for the next year,” she explains. “You can watch it on YouTube. It is something my American family and friends find strange!”


“Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China,” says Xiaofan Null, a senior global career and transition coach who now lives in the United States. “It is also called Spring Festival. It is typically in the month of February and is celebrated for 16 days.” Food is a huge part of Chinese New Year celebrations, and many meals are eaten with family and friends. Traditional dishes include nian gao cake, fish, steamed rice pudding, noodles and dumplings. 

“Homes are cleaned top to bottom before the beginning of the New Year,” comments Xiaofan. “Firecrackers are set off on New Year’s Eve to send out the old year and welcome in the new. The 2019 Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Pig.”
United Kingdom

“New Year traditions in the UK include parties, fireworks and resolution making,” shares Clare Somers, a career and transition coach based in England. “And the resolutions are usually broken by about the end of January!”

From all of us at IMPACT Group, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2019!


Contribution by Jill Jassmann-Sharlock.

Jill is an IMPACT Group Global Research and Projects Team Lead who focuses on the unique information needs of global transferees. She also serves as IMPACT Group’s Global myIMPACT Specialist, managing content for our global job search and career portal.

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