Making a lot of noise seems to be popular everywhere. In ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten off demons, and China, firecrackers kept away the forces of darkness.
Food is another popular tradition. In the southern U.S., black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune. In India and Pakistan, rice promises good fortune. The Swiss drop dollops of whipped cream on the floors, which symbolizes the richness of the coming year.
Drinking alcohol is probably the most popular tradition. Wassail (Good Health) is a favorite punch-like drink in England. In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.
Swapping gifts is done in some parts of the world. In Rome, gifts of gilded nuts or coins marks the start of the New Year. Persians exchange eggs, a symbol of fertility. Early Egyptians traded earthenware pots. In Scotland, coal, shortbread, and silverware were given for good luck.
Scotland celebrates Hogmanay. People visit friends and family. The first foot forward to cross the threshold will predict the next year's fortune.
The practice of making New Year's resolutions began with the Babylonians as early as 2600 B.C.
New Year's folklore:
At midnight, kiss the person you want to keep kissing.
If the old year goes out like a lion, the new one will come in like a lamb.
Happy New Year!