How Much Do You Know About These New Year’s Traditions?

By: Lauren Lubas
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
How Much Do You Know About These New Year’s Traditions?
Image: Pixabay by 5598375

About This Quiz

There is something about ringing in the new year that gets people excited. It's almost as though people believe that within 10 seconds, a new day comes along and changes us completely. While it may seem childish, this is how society has been celebrating the holiday for generations — using traditions to help us show that you can change with the chiming of a clock or the dropping of a ball.

If you love the fact that New Year's Eve is your last hooray for the year and ringing in the new year means you get a whole new chance to change and grow, you probably love the traditions that come along with the holiday. From cracking open the bubbly to kissing your love as soon as the clock strikes midnight, you probably have it all down, but do you know where these traditions come from? Do you know why they're traditions? If not, you can always take an educated guess.

Take this quiz to show off your New Year's know-how, and see if you can teach us a thing or two about confetti and singing "Auld Lang Syne" (if you know the words) every year at the exact same time.

Times Square NYC via YouTube
Where does the ball drop on New Year's Eve in New York?
Times Square
Central Park
The Danville Building
Rockefeller Center
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Though New Year's Eve celebrations have been happening in Times Square since 1904, the first ball drop was in 1907. People in New York might have gotten this one, but those of us who watch it on TV may have had to guess.

Pixabay by USA-Reiseblogger
What is the tradition of setting goals for the new year called?
New Year's resolutions
New Year's wishes
New Year's chanting
New Year's dialog
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

People often make resolutions before the new year to help them stick to their goals. When the year changes over, it seems as though a new timer starts and things change for everyone. This is why resolutions are so popular.

Pixabay by Jerzy Górecki
How many grapes should you eat when the clock strikes midnight?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Each grape represents one month of the year. Although the tradition now is about prosperity and luck throughout each month of the year, it was originally started to ward away dark magic and evil witches.


Flashpop/DigitalVision/Getty Images
How long before the stroke of midnight do people start counting down aloud?
10 minutes
5 hours
10 seconds
5 minutes
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Ten minutes is a lot of counting, but 10 seconds is a great way to show your excitement that the year is changing without tiring yourself out. Not only is this countdown fun, but it's a great way to get rid of the old and welcome the new.

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Can you name the song that people often sing when the new year comes?
"Old Framed Signs"
"Alderane Mein"
"Cold Rain Sign"
"Auld Lang Syne"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Auld Lang Syne" has roots in Scottish traditions. The literal translation of the song title is "old long since," which basically means "old times" or "back in the day." The song is about old friends.

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What is the drink of choice to sip on when the clock strikes 12?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Champagne is considered a celebratory drink. Popping a cork adds to the loud sounds that come with ringing in the new year and bringing new adventures to your life. Drinking a little bubbly gives you the chance to wash away the past year and lift your spirits for the new year.


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Why do we make a lot of noise when the new year begins?
To let the year know we're here
To ward off evil spirits
To let our neighbors know we are awake
To wake everyone up
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The tradition of making a lot of noise when the new year comes in dates back hundreds of years. It was believed that if you brought in the new year by creating a lot of noise, ringing bells and lighting fireworks, you would be free from evil spirits. These days, it's a way to make good luck.

Pixabay by Ichigo121212
You're supposed to hold something in your hand during the countdown to bring prosperity. What is it?
A glass
Your lover's hand
Your first wish written on paper
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Holding money in your hand when the clock strikes midnight is meant to ensure that you have money in your hand throughout the year. It is thought that whatever is in your hand on the first second of the year will be in your hand throughout the year.

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Why do you kiss someone when the new year comes in?
For good luck
For love and happiness
To say goodbye to last year's kisses
You hope to keep kissing them throughout the year.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The longstanding tradition of kissing the one you love when the clock strikes midnight is meant to show that you will continue kissing that person throughout the year. This is a way to give good fortune to your relationship for another 12 months.


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In Denmark, what is broken on neighbors' doors to celebrate the new year?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

That's right, in Denmark, it is customary to break old plates and dishes on your friends', neighbor's and family's doors when the new year comes in. It's done affectionately, apparently.

Unsplash by Pablo Heimplatz
What major events do the hotels in Las Vegas coordinate for the new year?
Billboard lightings
Fireworks displays
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The fireworks displays on the Las Vegas Strip are some of the most intense that people see all year. That is why hundreds of thousands of people flock to the Strip to ring in the new year.

Unsplash by Jase Bloor
Why do the Japanese believe that it's good to smile while entering the new year?
It wards away evil.
They don't believe this.
It helps bring money.
It brings good luck.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While one might think that smiling would bring happiness, the Japanese believe that smiling into the new year is a way to bring you and your family good luck. For this reason, New Year's festivities include a lot of things to smile at.


Football Players
Getty Images/DigitalVision/Getty Images
What football game is played on New Year's Day as a tradition?
The Rose Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl
The Super Bowl
The Big Bowl
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Every year on January 1st, the Rose Bowl comes on. It is a college football (American) game that is played in Pasadena, California. If New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the Rose Bowl takes place the following Monday.

Lew Robertson/Stone/Getty Images
Can you name the Southern dish that is generally eaten on New Year's Day?
Fried clams
Hoppin' Johns
Hot browns
Short ribs
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

As a way to bring good luck, American Southerners will usually eat a plate of pork, black-eyed peas and rice. This dish is known as Hoppin' Johns. This dish is traced all the way back to the slave trade from West Africa.

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Why shouldn't you eat chicken on the first day of the year?
You definitely should eat chicken on the first day of the year!
It has an enzyme that changes your DNA.
It'll "fowl" up your year.
It shows that you don't care about ghosts.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Many cultures believe that eating chicken on the first day of the year will bring bad luck and a big mess for you to clean up. While there is no scientific evidence to support this, the superstition has been around for a long time.


Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/The Image Bank/Getty Images
The Turks wear colored underwear to ensure prosperity. Do you know what color it is?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Wearing red underwear as the new year comes in is an excellent way to ensure that you are prosperous in the year to come. The Turks also run water and sprinkle salt on their doorsteps to welcome any money that comes along.

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Do you know what pork symbolizes on New Year's Day?
Healthy eating
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pork for progress on New Year's Day. It's always a good thing to eat pork on the first day of the year. Many cultures think that it helps you move forward, as pigs always look for food in a forward motion.

laflor/E+/Getty Images
What should you eat on New Year's Eve if you want fertility and abundance?
Peanut butter
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pomegranate has always been a sign of fertility, especially in Ancient Greece. These days, eating pomegranate on the eve of the new year is a way to gain fertility. In Greece, the pomegranate is smashed on the ground, so the seeds go everywhere, to show abundance.


Unsplash by Ben Wicks
Can you tell us the best cake to eat for the new year?
Sheet cake
Bundt cake
Potato cake
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In the Philippines, everything on New Year's must be round to show prosperity. However, having a round bundt cake is meant to bring a full circle of luck to anyone who eats it. No, you don't have to eat the whole cake to get the luck.

Hiroshi Higuchi/DigitalVision/Getty Images
This one originated in Poland and Scandinavia. What kind of fish do you eat at the stroke of midnight?
Red herring
Rainbow trout
Pickled mollusk
Pickled herring
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pickled herring has a very specific silver color to it. It may not taste all that great, but if you eat the silvery fish, you are destined to have a bounty come your way in the upcoming year.

Unsplash by Nadya Spetnitskaya
Armenian bakers knead what into their bread for the new year?
Luck and good wishes
Raisins and cinnamon
Happiness and love
Heart and soul
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This bread is made in usually made in every household in Armenia. Although one could argue that luck and good wishes are kneaded into every loaf of homemade bread, this loaf is special for Armenian New Year celebrations.


Unsplash by Bertrand Borie
Do you know what the Greeks hang outside their front door on New Year's Eve?
A pepper
An onion
An olive
A brisket
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The onion symbolizes a rebirth in the coming year. It's the Greek way of saying "out with the old and in with the new," in a much nicer way ... even if it's a little stinkier than other traditions.

St Mark
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St. Mark's Square is the place to be during New Year's Eve. What great event do they hold?
A mass high-five session
A pickled herring festival
A mass kissing session
A tree-lighting festival
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

That's right, if you're feeling a little lonely, head off to Venice this New Year's Eve and see if you can participate in the mass kissing session. The perfect thing to do during cold and flu season.

Unsplash by chuttersnap
In the Netherlands, what do they burn to symbolize getting rid of old stuff?
Pieces of their houses
Dried flowers
Christmas trees
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

One way to rid yourself of your Christmas tree every year is to burn it to the ground (outside, of course). In the Netherlands, these large bonfires are symbolic of getting rid of old stuff to make way for new stuff.


Tara Moore/Stone/Getty Images
Can you guess what single women in Ireland put under their pillows on New Year's Eve?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If a young woman hopes to find herself a husband in the coming year, she only needs to rest some mistletoe under her pillow the night before the new year begins. Who needs internet dating?

Mexico House Images
In Mexico, people decorate their houses in different colors, depending on what they want in the new year. Each color has its own meaning. What does red mean?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Red is the color of love. If you want love, decorate your house red. If you are looking for a job or work, you should decorate your house yellow. Of course, the color green represents money and prosperity.

RicardoImagen/E+/Getty Images
Can you tell us what Colombians carry around on December 31st?
Holly leaves
Trays of food
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

That's right; if you are hoping to travel in the following year, it is customary to carry around your suitcase in Colombia. This will ensure that you have a year filled with adventure, fun and travel.


Clothes Line
Jan Hakan Dahlstrom/Stone/Getty Images
What color underwear do Bolivians wear to increase their fortune in the new year?
Dark blue
Sea green
Bright yellow
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Bright yellow underwear looks a little bit like gold and having gold underwear on means that you will most likely be rich in the new year. It makes sense if you really think about it ... anyway, it's worth a try.

Cold Water
Sam Spicer/Moment/Getty Images
In Canada, people jump into The English Bay on New Year's Day to participate in what tradition?
The Polar Bear Swim
The Penguin Swim
The Iceberg Swim
The Cold Float
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

What is there to do if you're bored in Canada? Jump into freezing water and try not to die, of course. This tradition has been long withstanding, and it has been made into a fun event that people train for.

Old Man
amazing India via YouTube
Who is burned in effigy in Southern Mexico during the celebration of the new year?
The new man
The old man
A politician
A witch
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Burning the old man in effigy is a Mexican tradition that symbolizes getting rid of the old year. In many cases, the old man is actually referred to as "the old year" to make the point a little clearer.


Tom Werner/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Which of these dishes symbolizes prosperity and money on New Year's?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Lentils are small legumes that are shaped very much like coins. The disc shape symbolizes money, and eating them on New Year's Day is an excellent way to ensure that you get the prosperity you're looking for in the coming year.

Unsplash by Dan Gold
How do you make sure you will have enough food in the coming year?
Make sure you eat fish
Make sure you have a coin in your hand
Make sure you clean your house
Make sure your cupboards are full
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Having full cupboards on the first day of the year is a sign (in many cultures) that your cupboards won't go bare throughout the year. Even if you're a minimalist, it's important to stock up before the year begins.

Tara Moore/Stone/Getty Images
If you don't want to lose anything in the new year, what should you avoid doing on December 31 and January 1?
Taking things out of your home
Inviting people into your home
Leaving your home
Cleaning your home
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Some superstitious people believe that if you take anything out of your home on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, you will end up losing things throughout the year. For this reason, you should avoid taking out the garbage until January 2.


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What is going to happen to you if you cry on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day?
You'll have a year of anger.
You'll have a year of sadness.
You'll have a year of losing friends.
You'll have a year of breakups.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The holidays can be tough, but you have to tough it out over the new year. If you don't, you could find yourself facing an entire year of sadness, according to some superstitions, so smile and enjoy the good times.

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When you want to let all of the bad luck from last year out, what should you do to your home?
Play loud music
Clean every corner of it
Open all the doors and windows
Sing in the halls
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A good way to let your house breathe is to open all of the doors and windows. According to some New Year's traditions, it will also help you get rid of all of the bad luck you had the previous year. Of course, it can also make your heating bill skyrocket.

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