By Dave Carlin

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Year’s traditions from all over the world can be found in the rich melting pot that is the Tri-State Area.

Some you’ve heard of and some you have not, but what they have in common is a desire to bring good luck, health and wealth.

Instead of doing it with a big party, ringing in 2021 will be low key and quiet for most, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported Thursday.

“Social distancing. Be safe everyone,” one man said.

Maria Guzman’s family traditions are midnight champagne toast and a kiss. Others across our region celebrate with food, picking up 12 lentils or 12 grapes.

“We get a champagne cup. We pour champagne and we pour the 12 grapes in the cup and then we drink champagne at 12 and we eat each grape,” said Guzman, of Hell’s Kitchen.

MORENew Year’s Eve Countdown: Times Square Nearly Empty, Save For Select Frontline Workers And VIP Guests

Twelve wishes that 2021 is a health, wealth and happiness improvements over 2020.

“It cant hurt,” Guzman said.

For some people, New Year’s comes with fish, because fish are always moving forward, not back.

There are also non-food ways to ring in the new year.

“Not with a lot of people like usual, but we’ll keep it safe and I’ll jump off a chair,” Sebastian Perez said.

Perez and Sebastian Bangsgaard, both born and raised in Denmark, work at the Lower East Side restaurant Smor. Jumping off something at midnight is something they do for every new year.

“I will have to keep the tradition going,” Bangsgaard said. “It’s very important that you jump off something for the new year to get a good start.”

“Wear white. Wear white, the whole body. Underpants and the outside. White will bring peace,” said Orlando Campos, who owns a Brazilian restaurant in Newark.


Folklorist Amanda Dargan said what those traditions and many more have in common is hope.

“Symbolically, sweeping away the bad from the previous year and starting the new year fresh,” Dargan said.

And she said if anything might help us whip up positive change for the new year, we’ll take it.

CBS2’s Dave Carlin contributed to this report

Dave Carlin