While New York City is known for its Crystal Ball drop, Boise, Idaho, has an annual New Year’s Eve party featuring a giant potato drop. Started in 2013, the event includes a fireworks show, live music, and plenty of food. Those who attend the party are called, “spec-taters.”
A state known for its cheese, has a cheesy celebration featuring live music, food, a bonfire, and the dropping of an 80-pound wedge of cheese. Sadly, the massive chunk of cheese is not real, but attendees can enjoy fresh cheese from local vendors.
It’s an all-day party at Hoodoo Ski Resort where the lifts run from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. There’s a special dinner menu, live music in the lodge until midnight, and fireworks on the mountain shortly after 9 p.m. It’s a great family-friendly atmosphere.
Estes Park, Colorado
Take the family to Estes Park and stay at the YMCA of the Rockies to enjoy the New Year’s Eve Family Dance party. In the backdrop of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, this family-friendly dance party includes a DJ, snacks, and games. The ball drops at 10 p.m. so the little ones can stay up for the big moment.
Around the world, cultures welcome the change of the calendar with unique New Year’s Eve traditions of their own. Here are some customs around the world to bring in the new year.
Australians celebrate the new year with fireworks.
The Hmong New Year celebrates and marks the end of the harvest season generally in October or November. Hmong people are mountain farmers in Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos where they grow a lot of rice, Hmong greens, poppy seeds, and lemon grass.
Residents of Denmark greet the new year by throwing old plates and glasses against the doors of family and friends to banish bad spirits. They also stand on chairs and jump off them together at midnight to “leap” into January in hopes of good luck.
In Greece, an onion is hung on the front door of homes on New Year’s Eve as a symbol of rebirth in the new year. On New Year’s Day, parents wake their children by gently tapping them on the head with an onion.
The new year is considered a time to pray for one’s family.
In Finland, everyone receives a small piece of tin in the shape of a miniature horseshoe. The horseshoe is melted and placed into a container of water. After hardening, if the tin looks like a heart or ring it means a wedding, a ship predicts travel, a coin means wealth, and a pig declares there will be plenty of food.
In hopes of a travel-filled new year, residents carry an empty suitcase around the block on New Year’s Eve.
Many families display piles of fruit in their home, eat exactly 12 grapes at midnight, and wear polka dots for luck.
Scotland celebrates Hogmanay—first footing. The first person who crosses the threshold of a home in the new year carries a gift to the family for luck. Scots also hold bonfire ceremonies where people swing giant fireballs on poles, symbols of the sun, to purify the coming year.
In North and South Korea, the Lunar New Year and Solar New Year are both celebrated. The Solar New Year is celebrated on the first day of January while the timing of the Lunar New Year celebrations varies. Koreans eat a soup called Tteok-Guk and it’s good luck to eat the soup on New Year’s Day.
To bring love in the new year, Italians wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve. For good luck, they wear white, or yellow to bring happiness and money.
Spaniards eat 12 grapes—one at each stroke of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Each grape represents good luck for one month of the coming year.
Traditions include singing “Auld Lang Syne” to greet the new year and remember the good memories of family and friends from long ago.