Need some fun cocktail conversation this time of year? Here’s some nuggets of knowledge when it comes to how people in Japan, Brazil and Peru celebrate the new year.

In Japan…

New Year’s is a huge celebration in Japan with friends and family spending quality time together. One favorite tradition is enjoying mochi – but not just ANY mochi…handmade mochi created painstakingly by hand, known as “mochitsuki.” For entertainment, lion dancing, or “shishimai,” is performed at venues throughout Japan to bring good luck and ward off evil.

In Brazil…

Brazil inspires our all-white Réveillon celebration; celebrants traditionally wear white and the beaches are packed with millions of revelers underneath a sky full of fireworks. In Rio’s famed Copacabana beach alone, 2 million gather every year. In Bahia especially, people pay homage to the goddess Yemanja by placing wishes and desires on small boats and setting them afloat on the sea hoping for good luck and prosperity.

In Peru…

Synchronized with the countdown to midnight, revelers eat 12 grapes (6 green, 6 purple), with a wish made for every grape.  If you’re in Peru, you can also wonder whether your Peruvian neighbor is wearing yellow underwear – tradition dictates that wearing it attracts positive energy for the coming year. The twist – so to speak – is that the undies must be worn inside out before midnight, and switched to the right way immediately after.