New Year’s Traditions Beyond Toasts and Resolutions

Toasts, resolutions, and kisses on the hour are some of the biggest traditions associated with New Year’s Eve. However, they are just some of many. Here are a few found in the archive that you might recognize—and some you might not.

New Year’s Tree

This tradition sounds like a creative excuse for keeping your Christmas Tree up past its own holiday. But it actually originated as a separate tradition in countries like Russia and Turkey. It seems there are several ways now to incorporate this tradition into turn-of-the-year festivities. New Year's Tree

New Year’s Tree Mon, Jan 3, 1910 – 2 · Montpelier Evening Argus (Montpelier, Vermont, United States of America) ·
This is a more goals-oriented approach: hanging your resolutions from the tree like decorations.
New Year Tree at LaSalle UniversityNew Year Tree at LaSalle University Tue, Jan 10, 1928 – 11 · The Times (Munster, Indiana, United States of America) ·
Or you can set it up alongside your Christmas Tree with similar decorations.
New Year's TreeNew Year’s Tree Sun, Jan 6, 1963 – Page 83 · The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut) ·

Traditions Rooted in the Family Tree

There are also traditions that only appeared in America when they were brought over from much older countries. First-footing is just one example of these, a somewhat superstitious practice that originated in Scotland.
First-Footing Scottish New Year CustomFirst-Footing Scottish New Year Custom Thu, Dec 30, 1926 – Page 8 · The Boyden Reporter (Boyden, Sioux, Iowa) ·

Off to First-footOff to First-foot Fri, Jan 1, 1897 – 5 · The Courier and Argus (Dundee, Tayside, Scotland) ·

Festive Foods

What holiday would be complete without traditional foods? And there are several to choose from. You can go with a traditional New Year’s Cake originating from the Netherlands:

New Year's CakeNew Year’s Cake Thu, Jan 4, 1990 – Page 62 · The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California) ·

Or perhaps the 12 grapes tradition of Spain, still widely practiced today:
New Year's GrapesNew Year’s Grapes Mon, Dec 24, 1962 – Page 19 · The Daily Standard (Sikeston, Scott, Missouri) ·

Or the tradition of eating black-eyed peas, a tradition that hails from the Southern United States:

Southern U.S. New Year's tradition: Black-eyed PeasSouthern U.S. New Year’s tradition: Black-eyed Peas Wed, Jan 5, 1955 – Page 14 · El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, El Paso, Texas) ·

.There are countless more traditions, big and small, to go along with the passing of the old year into the new. What are some of the more unusual ones you’ve heard of?

Find more like this with a search on

Like this post? Try one of these: 

Share using:

Related Posts