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Happy New Year!

Ever wonder how people celebrate New Year’s Eve around the world?

So do we! The world is full of interesting ways to see in the new year. Some celebrate with colorful fireworks and lucky charms. Others like it more quietly. In some places, the color of your underwear is what really matters. Pretty much every country has its own customs. Here are a few of the New Year’s Eve highlights from around the world.
France sets priorities
Looking to celebrate New Year’s in France? Well, then don’t expect any wild parties or colorful firework displays. Fireworks and firecrackers are banned in many cities, including Paris. As a result, most people get together with friends and family for a festive dinner at home. Instead of spending money on fireworks, people put their cash into their traditional New Year’s meal: champagne with foie gras or oysters. 
ITALY SEES RED
Red underwear is a must on New Year’s Eve in Italy. That’s because Italians believe that wearing red underneath your clothes is the key to a happy and successful new year. As a result, department stores and boutiques change their displays and focus on red intimate apparel once Christmas is over. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer boxers, briefs or panties, there’s only one thing that counts: it has to be red! The Italians also kick off the year with a hearty meal of ham hocks and lentils to bring good luck and good fortune in the 365 days to come.
ARGENTINA CLEANS HOUSE
Like everywhere else in the world, people in Argentina like to usher in the next twelve months by celebrating with family and friends. Buenos Aires, however, is home to a very special, liberating tradition. On January 1, residents in the city and the metropolitan area throw away old things to get the new year off to a happy, carefree start. They shred all their old documents and papers and toss them out the window come afternoon. All day long, bits of paper fall like snow from the windows of high-rise buildings. 
Spain goes fruity
In Spain, grapes are the key to good luck in the new year. At midnight, revelers stick one grape in their mouths each time the clock strikes. Lose count or can’t manage all twelve at once? Then get ready for some bad luck in the twelve months to come! That’s why many Spanish supermarkets add special cans containing twelve grapes to their shelves just before New Year’s Eve. Vendors selling grapes often make their way through urban nightlife districts just before midnight.
New Year's in China
December 31 isn’t a big day in China. Instead, people celebrate Chinese New Year (the lunar new year according to the traditional calendar). The holiday will take place in mid-February in 2015. Millions of people in China travel back to their rural hometowns for a week of celebrations. People bid farewell to the last evening of the old year with a sea of candles, firecrackers and ornate costumes. 
And last but not least: New Year’s in VARTA’s home country
In Germany, like in many other countries, the new year starts with fireworks. Lucky charms and fortune-telling games are also an important part of New Year's Eve. People decorate their tables with symbols that are traditionally said to bring good luck, such as pigs, chimney sweeps and four-leafed clovers. Bleigießen ("lead-pouring") is a popular game that involves pouring molten tin into cold water and predicting what will happen in the next year based on the shapes that result.
 
Originally, people used lead, giving the game its name. Germans wish each other guten Rutsch – literally "have a nice slip" – on New Year's Eve. But it has nothing to do with "slipping" into the new year. Instead it is derived from the Yiddish language and means "have a nice start".

Happy New Year!

We hope your new year gets off to a great start. Any New Year’s resolutions yet? We'll keep our fingers crossed for you!