New Year is celebrated all around the world with different tune and time. All over the world, there are special beliefs about New Year.
Hindu New YearCelebration of the Hindu New Year varies based on geographic location. Most Hindus live in India,but they have different traditions. For example, the Hindus of Gujarat, in western India, celebrate the New Year at the end of October, at the same time as the Indian festival of Diwali. For the Diwali celebration, small oil lights are lit all along the rooftops.
In northern India, people wear flowers to celebrate the New Year, commonly in pink, red, purple,or white hues. Hindus in central India display orange flags, flying them from the top of buildings. In southern India, mothers put food, flowers, and small gifts on a special tray. On New Year s morning, children must keep their eyes shut until they have been led to the tray.
Muslim New YearThe Muslim New Year falls eleven days earlier than the previous year because the Muslim calendar is based on the movements of the moon. In Iran, people celebrate the New Year in March.
As the New Year approaches, Muslims set grains of wheat or barley in small dishes and sprinkle them with water. When the New Year arrives, the growth of the sprouted grains reminds people of spring and a new year of life.
Jewish New YearThe Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah, and falls in the seventh month, or Tishri, of the Jewish calendar (September - October). Rosh Hashanah is a holy time when people reflect on the things they have done wrong in the past, so they can improve in the future. Celebration of the New Year begins at sunset the day before, and religious services are held at synagogues in observation. An instrument called a Shofar, made from a ram s horn, is traditionally played and children are given new clothes to celebrate the New Year. In addition, New Year loaves are baked and fruit is eaten to remind people of harvest time.
Chinese New YearThe Chinese New Year is a lunar holiday that begins with the arrival of the second new moon following the winter solstice. It usually starts between mid-January and mid-February, (date varies) and lasts for fifteen days. As the New Year approaches, people clean their home to escape bad luck in the upcoming year. Families gather for a feast on New Year s Eve, and stay up late, believing that it will prolong the lives of their elders. The Chinese people believe that evil spirits come around at New Year, so they let off firecrackers to frighten them away. People often seal their windows and doors with paper to keep the evil spirits out, as well.On New Year s Day, people dress in their best clothes and present one another with small gifts. Chinese people all over the world celebrate the first full moon with a colorful street procession, called the Festival of Lanterns. People fill the streets carrying lanterns and join a great parade led by an enormous dragon. The Festival of Lanterns is believed to light the way for the New Year.
Bahai New YearThe Bahai people have their own calendar consisting of nineteen months of nineteen days plus a couple of extra days between the eighteenth and nineteenth months. They have however adopted the Iranian custom of beginning the New Year in the spring equinox. The day begins at sunset rather than midnight, and the New Year celebrations are held during the evening of March 20th.
Korean New YearIn Korea the first day of the lunar New Year is called Solnal. This is for families to renew ties and prepare for the New Year. On the New Year s Eve people place straw scooper, rakes or sieves on their doors and walls to protect their families from evil spirit. Everyone dresses in new clothes the following morning, symbolizing a fresh beginning, and gathers at the home of the eldest male family member. Ancestral memorial rites are held, and then the younger generation bows to elders in the family. They wish them good health and prosperity in the coming year. The elders often then give newly minted money or gifts afterwards. New Year s Day food includes a bowl of rice cake soup.Koreans believe eating this soup will add an extra year of age to your life. Korean age is actually calculated at the New Year. Everyone becomes a year older on New Year s Day.
Japanese New YearCelebration of the Japanese New Year ( Oshogatsu ) occurs on January 1st, as with Western nations. However, the Japanese people also observe some beliefs from their religion, called Shinto. For happiness and good luck, Japanese people hang a rope of straw across the front of their homes. They believe it keeps the evil spirits away. Japanese people begin to laugh the moment the New Year begins, so they will have good luck the whole year.
Egyptian New YearIn Egypt, the New Year is a public holiday and has a very festive atmosphere. Although they know in advance when the New Year will begin, they still observe the custom of the new crescent moon to be seen before the official announcement is made. The sighting is carried out at the Muhammed Ali mosque which is at the top of the hill in Cairo. The message is then passed on to the religious leader known as the Grand Mufti and he proclaims the New Year. The men who wait outside the mosque wish each other a happy New Year by saying "Kol Sana We Enta Tayeb!" and then go home to tell their families. Then all families sit down for a special New Year dinner. On this day even the poorest of family serve some meat.
Thai New YearThe Thai New Year festival is called Songkran and lasts for three days from 13th to 15th April according to the Gregorian calendar. The customs are many such as people throwing water over one another, hoping that it will bring good rains in the coming year and all the Buddha statues or images are washed. They visit the monastery to pray and offer gifts of rice, fruit, sweets and other foods for the monks. Another custom to bring good luck is to release birds from their cages or fish from their bowls. They carry a fish bowl to the river to release their fish all at the same time together. They might also play the game known as Saba which is a game rather like skittles.
Vietnamese New YearThe Vietnamese New Year is called Tet Nguyen Dan, or Tet for short. The exact date changes from year to year, but it usually falls between January 21st and February 19th. A common Vietnamese belief is that the first person to enter a house at New Year will bring either good or bad luck. The Vietnamese also believe that there is a god in every home who travels to heaven at the New Year. In heaven, this god will reveal how good or bad each member of the family has been in the past year. Thus, the New Year is a time to reflect on the past and improve in the future. A traditional Vietnamese belief is that the God travels to heaven on the back of a fish, called a carp. Even today some people buy a live carp, and free it in a river or pond.
Cambodian New YearThe people of Cambodia use the Indian Calendar to calculate the start of the New Year festival. The festival starts on the 12, 13 or 14th April according to the Gregorian calendar and lasts for three days. People clean and decorate their houses, and set up an altar to welcome the New Year Spirit Tevada Chhnam Thmey who is said to come down to earth at this time. A statue of the Buddha is put on the altar, with flowers, candles, incense, a bowl of scented water, food and drink, and banana leaves shaped into different figures. On the first day of the festival people visit their local monastery and offer food to the monks. A special sand mound is built in the grounds of the monasteries on this day. The mound is decorated with five religious flags, one on top of the mound and four around the sides. Special games such as the Tug-Of-War, Angkunh and Boh Choong are played at the monasteries on each day of the festival. On the second day people gather with their families to wish each other a Happy New Year and exchange gifts. They might also visit the monastery again to ask the monks to say a special prayer for their ancestors. On the third day the Buddha statues of their homes and the monasteries are washed. It is said this ensures good rains during the coming year. Children wash the feet of their parents as sign of respect on this day as well.
Unique New Year celebrations Worldwide
In most countries of the world, where the Gregorian calendar has been adopted, New Year is celebrated on January 1. The revelries generally begin in the last two weeks of December, with streets and shops and houses being decorated, culminating to the visual feasts of the 31st, a night lit up by breathtaking fireworks in many cities of the world. Gifts, cards and wishes are exchanged, dinner parties held at homes and restaurants, and resolutions are solemnly made. For many, it is the perfect moment to get together with their loved ones.
Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus attract huge crowds on the night of New Years Eve – people come in droves to listen to the Big Ben chime in the new year. Auld Lang Syne is sung as part of the tradition.
USAIn the United States, New Year is a major festival that everybody participates in. They visit family and friends, enjoy delicious food, and gather to watch firework displays. In keeping with the annual tradition that started in 1907, the New Year Ball, a huge ball made of Waterford Crystal, is dropped on Times Square, New York City, at 11:59 pm every year.
Another famous tradition is the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, California, which was first organised in 1886. The football game of New Year is preceded by a parade of bright and innovative floats known as the Tournament of Roses Parade.