It’s time: 2022 is nearly over and we’re ready for New Year’s Eve countdown parties in Singapore! Wondering what to do on New Year’s Eve? Then here are some spots to countdown in Singapore as you welcome in 2023. Also, read on for some interesting trivia about New Year’s traditions from around the world.
Mandarin Oriental, Singapore – a poolside countdown party
Dance the night away in style and ring in a spectacular 2023 with Mandarin Oriental, Singapore’s first-ever poolside countdown party. Hosted in collaboration with Chivas, the poolside party lets you enjoy a night of revelry under the stars, complete with a guest DJ to set the mood. At midnight, you canraise a toast to the New Year while a dazzling fireworks display goes off around you.
Standard entry fee (a standing spot) to the countdown party is $180 per person, including two drinks. Book by 30 December and you can also enjoy a $20 discount. Note that a minimum spend is required for a spot in the following zones: the Party Lounge, Firework Lounge and Dance Floor Lounge. Private cabanas also require a minimum spend of $1,588; each one can accommodate up to six guests.
Ring in the New Year along the Singapore River
Undecided on where to countdown in Singapore? A great place to celebrate New Year’s Eve is in one of the many restaurants that line the Singapore River. Some of these spots in prime waterfront positions are also hosting countdown parties! If you haven’t picked a venue to ring in the New Year, make sure you expore the options and the different cuisines available. You can generally choose to sit indoors or opt for the alfresco dining area to soak in the lively atmosphere.
Countdown 2023 in one of Singapore’s rooftop eateries
Take in sky-high views with a refreshing pint (or three!) and delicious grub at one of Singapore’s rooftop bars and restaurants. Many of these have menus specially curated for New Year’s Eve. You’ll also be able to raise a toast to 2023 as you marvel at the midnight fireworks display. Visit individual restaurant websites for countdown party details.
Looking for more Singapore restaurants for New Year’s Eve dinner? Read our best restaurants guide.
Superstitions are a part of many New Year’s traditions. MELINDA MURPHY runs her eye over a few interesting ones from across the globe.
At midnight, all the radio and television stations operated by the state broadcast the sound of the bell of St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, followed by “The Blue Danube”. People across the country turn out into the streets to dance the waltz.
Some single women who are looking for lasting love sit in a circle, each with a pile of corn in front of them. A rooster is placed in the circle’s centre, and the woman whose grain heap it pecks first is believed to be the one who’ll get married first.
If you head to Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for New Year’s Eve, be sure to wear white. Here, people offer white flowers as gifts to Yamanja, the Afro-Brazilian queen of the sea. The floral gifts are placed on the water, some even in special boats, hoping the queen will bring them energy and strength.
Love to travel? So do Colombians. To be sure their year will be filled with plenty of travel opportunities, they walk around the block with an empty suitcase.
People in Denmark save their broken dishes and throw them at the homes of their friends and family as a gesture of good luck. You can also just opt to leave a heap of broken china on doorsteps if you’d prefer.
Some Ecuadorians make scarecrow-like effigies called los anos viejos (“the old years”) of people they dislike or of notable people from last year. Dolls and masks line the streets in the weeks leading up to the holiday. In Quito, the capital, a New Year’s Eve parade at night culminates with the effigies being tossed onto giant bonfires. Also, women and kids dress up as viudas, or widows of the dolls; some dress as Baby New Year. Together, they use just about everything imaginable to block streets, even highways, until you pay a toll of money or candy.
People here are said to crack an egg in a glass at midnight and leave it on their windowsill as a tradition. Fortunes are then predicted based on what shape the egg takes by morning.
You’d better have a big appetite if you plan to spend New Year’s Eve in Estonia. There, one tradition involves eating seven, nine or twelve times on the day, as these are all lucky numbers in Estonia. For every meal consumed, you apparently gain the strength of that many men for the following year! Luckily, some food should be left behind for the spirits of ancestors who visit on the day.
The Finns are said to melt lead in a tin pan on the stove and throw it quickly into a bucket of cold water. The resulting blob is then analysed and all sorts of predictions made. What kind of shadows does it cast by candlelight? It’s loads of fun and never taken too seriously.
The New Year’s holiday period goes to 6 January and ends with a celebration of the Epiphany. A special kind of cake called la galette des rois (“King’s Pie”) is served; it consists of two flat sheets of puff pastry filled with almond paste. The cake also contains a feve, or small china doll. Whoever finds the doll gets to wear a paper crown and also choose a partner.
Like in Finland, some Germans make predictions using molten lead. It’s also considered good luck to touch a chimney sweep or rub some ash on your forehead.
The Greeks have all sorts of New Year’s Eve traditions. During some family dinners, the hostess puts jewellery on a plate and serves it as a sign of the coming year’s prosperity. Dinner plates aren’t washed because Saint Vassilis (Greek Santa Claus) is expecting food when he visits. At midnight, lights are turned off and on again; this represents the new light of the new year. A vasilopita (also a “King’s Pie”!) is then served with a foil-wrapped coin inside. Whoever finds it is said to be blessed with luck for the year ahead.
There are many New Year’s superstitions in the Philippines. One involves opening all the doors, windows and cabinets in the house to let the bad energy out and the good energy in, all while making noise to keep the evil spirits away.
New Year’s Eve belongs to the animals in Romania. Farmers apparently try to hear their animals talk; if they do, it’s said they’ll have good luck for the coming year. People also don bear costumes (often made out of real bear fur) and dance to keep evil at bay.
Some Russians write down a wish on a piece of paper, burn it, throw it into a champagne glass and drink it before midnight turns to 12.01am.
Immediately after the clock strikes midnight, the “first-footing” begins. This tradition involves a dark-haired male being the first person to cross your threshold after midnight for good luck in the new year. Sometimes, the first-footer brings gifts such as coal or whiskey.
In Johannesburg, locals who live in the city’s Hillbrow neighbourhood toss old furniture out the windows, or off their balconies. The idea is to get rid of stuff from the old year and also embrace what the new year has to offer.
As the clock strikes midnight, Spanish people have been known to eat twelve white grapes, one for each chime of the clock. This tradition has its origins in 1909. Back then, grape growers thought of it as a way to cut down on the year’s production surplus.
Some folks in Turkey apparently grab a handful of pomegranate seeds and throw them from their balconies. The more the seeds burst, the more plentiful the year ahead is supposed to be.
Aside from all these weird and wonderful practices, did you know there any lots of NYE superstitions about underwear?! In Turkey, red is the magic colour for fertility and passion, while Columbia and Venezuela believe yellow lingerie brings happiness and peace. Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans are said to don white undies for fertility and health. Some Argentinians also wear brand new pink underwear to attract love.
For more helpful stories for Singapore life, head to our Living in Singapore section.