The New Year is one of the few holidays celebrated worldwide, with each country honoring unique traditions. Begin 2018 with a look at the world’s end-of-year traditions, inspired by where our ships were sailing this New Year.

Marina – Cozumel, Mexico

Mexico, like many Spanish-speaking countries, has many interesting rituals, some of which are borrowed from other countries, such as Spain, where they eat 12 red grapes, one for every month, and they make one wish per stroke before the clock strikes 12. However, the most significant custom in this beautiful country is the tradition of setting a rag doll on fire. The doll symbolizes the “old year,” and the fire is a means of putting the past behind them.

Riviera – St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

In the stunning Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, locals celebrate the New Year with a huge festivity that includes barbecuing on the beach, and lots of island dishes and festive drinks. Christmas decorations still adorn homes and streets, and fireworks and live steel bands fill the streets at night.

Regatta – Darwin, Australia

The highly anticipated New Year’s celebration in the Land Down Under usually extends over a period of six days, ending on January 6. With New Year’s occurring at the peak of summer, many Aussies take advantage of this and ring in the New Year with fun outdoor activities such as boating, rodeos and surfing. Of course, a marvelous display of lights takes over the night.

Insignia – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, it is believed that the New Year brings a new life, so it’s welcomed properly by discarding everything that is old. Cleaning every part of the house signifies the arrival of good luck. At midnight all doors and windows are opened for the spirits of the old year to exit and those of the new year to enter. Locals never sweep their homes on New Year’s Day because it is believed that by doing so a person may sweep away their good luck.

Nautica – Mozambique Channel and Indian Ocean
When our ships are out at sea, they herald the New Year in style with exciting festivities, ice carvings, champagne toasts, live music, dancing and more. What better way to ring in the New Year than to be in the middle of a new travel adventure?

Sirena – Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago

In Trinidad and Tobago it was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good or bad luck for the rest of the year – depending on who it is. Many locals also celebrate the New Year with the traditional dish of black-eyed peas, as these have been considered good luck in many cultures. These are usually cooked with pork tail or ham, and are served with rice.

Regardless of your holiday traditions, the common intention of these rituals around the world is to let go of the past and start anew, beginning the next chapter of life refreshed and recharged. To all, the best wishes for a remarkable New Year from Oceania Cruises!