New Year’s Celebrations Around The World: India, Peru, Iceland

Welcome to 2017!!

In most countries, as the clock ticked to midnight on December 31st, people prepared to welcome in the next year.  But in some other countries, the celebrations begin a few months later and are yet to come!

We spoke with some of our friends in the countries we travel to and asked them about how they celebrate the new year. India, Peru, and Iceland celebrate in such unique ways! Here is what they told us:


Indian women throwing colored Holi powder

Indian women throwing colored Holi powder

India is huge! Did you know that India is slightly larger than Alaska, Texas and California combined?! Each state celebrates New Year in different ways all over the country. In Madhya Pradesh, a state in the Northern Middle part of India, Holi is their New Year festival, celebrating the beginning of spring.  The festival is emphasized with lots of colors that are painted all over the body and thrown into the air. People are out on the streets, singing and dancing and sweets known as ‘Ladoo’ are consumed as well as the occasional intoxicating drink.


View of the central square In Cuzco, Plaza de Armas. Peru.

View of the central square In Cuzco, Plaza de Armas

In Peru, there are lots..and lots…and lots of fireworks. Peruvians love fireworks! The small-mining tradition in the Peruvian highlands means many country folk are comfortable handling gunpowder and making their own explosives. So any festival is noisy, and New Year’s Eve is noisier than most! People gather in the central square in Cuzco and wear yellow all over, which is a sign for good luck.


Nighttime in the Reykjavik area in Iceland around Christmas time, snow on the ground.

Nighttime in the Reykjavik area in Iceland around Christmas time

Iceland has only 3-4 hours of daylight this time of year and Icelanders enjoy every possibility to come together and give the dark days some “sparkle”. On December 31st friends and families come together for a good meal and a party. Families play board games and there is music and singing. Around 8 pm the villagers or town people gather around a bonfire to say a proper good bye to the old year and at midnight there are usually a lot of fireworks!

How did you spend your New Year’s eve?  Was it capitalized with an N and Y and a nice dinner with friends or just pleasantly lowercase since you went to bed early due to a 6:30am wake up from your 1.5 year old? Or maybe it was all uppercase, underlined, bolded and circled five times accompanied with some good bubbly?

Whichever way you experienced it, we hope that it was enjoyable! And we hope that you make the most of this new year; 2017!