Happy New Year!

This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on December 28, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.

Hello readers,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, spending time with family, eating good food, and enjoying the world around us! We are so close to the New Year, and it’s time to start thinking about our resolutions. We think this year your resolution should be to see more of the world!

In this week’s newsletter, I have gathered some interesting New Year traditions from around the world – places where you should spend the upcoming holiday and beyond!

Also, we want to remind you that Escape Artist is the number-one destination for all of your expat questions. Feel free to explore our website and drop in to ask a question. We love when you ask questions!   

Let’s get into this week’s round-up!


Spend Your New Year Like Royalty

Would you rather spend your New Year in a crowded room of people you don’t really know or have a wonderful night in a home with rich history? If you chose the latter, pick one of these historic European buildings that you can book through Airbnb.

1. Pokvár Castle in Tét, Hungary

Sleep in one of the ten bedrooms of the 110-year-old castle that features three saunas, a tennis court, an indoor pool, and a hot tub! The castle is also just a short drive from Budapest.

2. 12th-Century Abbey in Suffolk, England

With eight bedrooms, this Airbnb is a popular stay for wedding parties and maybe next year’s New Year’s Eve party?

3. 500-Year-Old House in Seville, Spain

The restored house sits in the tourist neighborhood of Santa Cruz, within walking distance from the Alcazar.

4. 300-Year-Old Farmhouse in Sercy, France

In the small town of Sercy in Burgundy, this 17th-century farmhouse contains a courtyard and garden. This would be the perfect place to stay for those looking to enjoy the vineyards in the region.

5. Borgia Castle in Passignano Sul Trasimeno, Italy

Castello Borgia will make you feel like royalty within its walls. The estate sits on the border of Tuscany and Umbria and was once owned by the noble family, dating back to the 14th century.


Bring Your Own Scarecrow

Every culture has their own way of ringing in the New Year. Here are some of the cool things that happen around the world this time of year.

China (celebrated on February 16): Painting your door red is a sign of good luck, since red is the happiest and luckiest color in China.

Denmark: It is considered good luck to smash broken or unused china dishware. Locals will drop smashable items off at a friend’s doorstep to bring them good luck.  

Italy: Wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is said to bring love and fertility into the New Year. In Argentina, pink garments bring love.

Ecuador and Argentina: As a symbol of leaving behind bad thoughts and those you’ve disliked in the past, people make dummies and scarecrows to set on fire.

Japan: The New Year’s bell is rung exactly 108 times in a traditional ceremony, called Joya no Kane, representing each of the worldly desires or sins of the Buddhist religion.

Greece: Hanging onions on one’s front door represents rebirth and regrowth.


Giving Times Square a Run for its Money

While a New Years Eve spent in New York City in Times Square seems like the pinnacle event of the year, there are locations all over the world that offer even better celebrations. Maybe choose one of the three we have found below!

Edinburgh, Scotland: There is a three-day celebration in Hogmanay beginning on December 30. The celebration includes a procession of torch carriers, music, street parties, and 4.5 tons of fireworks at night.  

Valparaiso, Chile: This party claims the biggest NYE fireworks display in South America. This pairs with three days of hanging out on the beach beginning on December 28. After the fireworks display signaling the new year, tens of thousands of people stay to keep partying through the sunrise.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: As one of the best party cities in the world, it doesn’t surprise us that Rio de Janeiro can put on a good New Year’s bash. Partiers are dressed in all white, said to bring good luck, and drink (and spray) Champagne in the sand.


Thank you for reading this week’s round-up! If you’re interested in learning what it’s like to become an expat, don’t hesitate to ask some questions. At Escape Artist, we aim to ensure that your travels abroad run as smoothly as they can.

Whether you are planning on living, working, retiring, or investing overseas, Escape Artist can help you every step of the way. Don’t forget to check out the eBook store for the 2018 Expat Tax Guide and our wonderful country guides!  

For more information on what’s going on in the international scene, check out some of this week’s newest articles!

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This article was published in the Escape Artist Weekly Newsletter on December 28, 2018. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.