Happy New Year’s! How the New Year is welcomed all over Euope

The beginning of the new year is a special event around the world – and thus, celebrated with a variety of customs. Find out more about how the new year is welcomed in Austria, Germany and other European countries in our new blog.


In Austria, the bells ring at the turn of the year at midnight. The Pummerin (bell of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna) is well known, and its ringing at 0:00 sharp ushers in the new year, followed by the Danube Waltz, which is traditionally danced on New Year's Eve while the fireworks rise into the air and people wish each other "Happy New Year’s". The belief is that one dances into the new year with upbeat and joyful steps. On 01.01 the New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra takes place in the Vienna Musikverein which is broadcast all over the world.

In Austria, New Year's Eve is celebrated in many different ways, just to name a few examples: Some head to the ski slopes early in the morning and celebrate Après-Ski until late in the evening. Others enjoy a tasty raclette and fondue and celebrate in a small circle with friends/family.

In Austria people often give each other lucky pigs, lucky clover and the like at midnight and, of course, lead pouring is not to be missed.


December is a magical month in Germany. The starting of the winter, Christmas season and the countdown to New Year’s make the days full of excitement.

The cities and towns light up, the streets are filled with people who enjoy visiting the Christmas markets, drinking Glühwein and eating Stollen.

All over the world you can find organised fireworks for New Year’s, however in Germany the citizens run the show. Some people go to the big celebration in front of the Brandenburger Tor with live music, others prefer private parties or just celebrating at home but for sure everyone joins the streets after midnight to light fireworks and to wish each other “einen Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr” (a good slide into the new year). 


In Spain, the introduction of the New Year is a very special celebration, characterized by a party atmosphere, fun and socializing until the early hours of the morning.

In Spain there is a very special tradition, because Spanish people welcome the New Year with twelve grapes. According to tradition, these must be eaten one after the other on 31 December at midnight to the beat of the bells that announce the new year. If you manage to eat all the grapes in time, you can expect (at least that's what they say) a year full of prosperity, happiness and contentment. Even if you don't believe in it, you have to join in because you don't know how fun it is!

The chimes are also broadcast on Spanish television so everyone can join in!

Often there is a delicious meal with the family, then the grapes are consumed. The old year is bid farewell together in the village square or the main square.

In Spain there is also a very special place to welcome the new year: Puerta del Sol square in Madrid. In front of the building with the clock, numerous people gather to celebrate the arrival of the new year! A huge collective party, with good atmosphere, great music and interesting people. Streamers, music, confetti are everywhere. This is a must see!


New Year's Eve in Greece or Crete is something very special: The menu includes moussaka, dolmadakia, grilled lamb and the famous Vasilipita cake. In the city centers you can expect live music, countdown and a really good atmosphere. The New Year is welcomed with sparkling wine or good wine, and a coin is placed in the Vasiloptia cake. Receiving the coin is supposed to be a sign of prosperity and good luck in the coming year.

Another special event takes place on the last day of the year: Carolers parade around the houses singing songs to welcome the New Year. In return, they receive small gifts and sweets.

The morning hours are also the time for socializing, sharing and gathering - this is when many people meet in taverns and express their wishes.

And it is warm! You can turn your back on the cold winter and enjoy the mild climate of the Mediterranean.


In Poland the motto at the turn of the year is: party, party, party! Locals as well as tourists are spoilt with choices: open-air festivals or rather the New Year's Eve gala? Music and bass feeling or the glittering ball, called "Great Gatsby" in 125 meters depth?

A special experience is the "Underwater New Year's Eve Ball" on the excursion ship Wratislavia. Shortly before midnight, the boat docks at Cathedral Island and participants welcome the New Year with a glass of champagne.  

In Kraków (Cracow) there are three big New Year's Eve parties: One party is dedicated to reinterpreted hip-hop classics, the second presents an open-air ballroom, and the open-air party takes place outdoors, but guests can also party one floor below....all I can say is you have to see this 😊


New Year's Eve in Romania is marked by eating, dancing, gathering and congratulations.

At the turn of the year, the bear costumes (yes, you heard right) are also taken out of the closet and the traditional bear dance is danced - this is one of my favorite moments. Romanians dress up and in disguise visit each other. Guests sing songs and get a homemade liquor in return and our celebration lasts a total of three days.


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