While traditions like a countdown and fireworks are popular across the globe, many countries have their own unique spin on how to ring in the new year. Below are just a handful of the customs – and superstitions – of some of the European countries you can visit on an AmaWaterways river cruise.
In Spain it is customary to eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve. That’s a serious mouthful! Each grape is meant to represent good luck for one month of the coming year. Pro tip: those who are successful with this custom often choose smaller grapes!
Explore Spain with AmaWaterways as a part of our Enticing Douro and Flavors of Portugal and Spain cruises as well as Taste of Bordeaux’s and Colors of Provence’s land packages.
Many Germans celebrate the idea of sending their loved ones good luck in the new year. Glücksbringer, or good luck charms, are therefore given as gifts. Some of the most popular forms are objects containing four-leaf clovers, pennies or horseshoes; ladybugs, said to protect children and those who are ill; and little chimney sweeper figurines associated with good fortune.
See Germany along the Rhine River or sail through it on the Danube River aboard itineraries that include Romantic Danube, Melodies of the Danube, Legendary Danube, Grand Danube and Blue Danube Discovery
Did you forget to send your Christmas cards out this year? This wouldn’t be a problem if you lived in France, because the French prefer to send greeting cards out in January wishing friends and family a Happy New Year. On New Year’s Eve, many also gather to watch the president’s address on TV.
Visit France on our Taste of Bordeaux, Paris & Normandy, Impressions of the Seine & Paris, Essence of Burgundy & Provence and Colors of Provence itineraries.