New Year celebrations

New Year celebrations

On the night of 31 December and the morning of 1 January, people in many countries all over the world will celebrate the beginning of a new year. How will they celebrate and how did this tradition begin?

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'For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.' – TS Eliot

New year, old celebrations

There have been celebrations to mark the beginning of a new year for thousands of years. Sometimes these were simply an opportunity for people to eat, drink and have fun, but in some places the festivities were connected to the land or astronomical events. For example, in Egypt the beginning of the year coincided with when the River Nile flooded, and this normally happened when the star Sirius rose. The Persians and Phoenicians started their new year at the spring equinox (this is around 20 March when the Sun shines more or less directly on the equator and the length of the night and the day are almost the same).

The oldest celebration

The city of Babylon in ancient Mesopotamia was where the first New Year's celebrations were recorded about 4,000 years ago. The Babylonians held their celebrations on the first new moon after the spring equinox and called this festival Akitu (which comes from the word the Sumerians used for barley). Barley was cut in Mesopotamia in the spring, and during Akitu there was a different ritual on each of the 11 days that the celebration lasted. Statues of the gods were carried through the streets of the city, and in this way the Babylonians believed that their world had been cleaned to prepare for the new year and a new spring.

Modern celebrations

In many cities all over the world, spectacular fireworks displays take place as soon as the clock passes midnight on 31 December. In recent years, Sydney in Australia has been the host to one of the first of these celebrations as New Year arrives there before most other major international cities. The display takes place in Sydney Harbour, with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge making it a stunning setting. Fireworks light up the skies in hundreds of cities as 12 midnight strikes around the globe.

Traditions that live on

There are a number of strange and interesting New Year's traditions around the world. In Scotland, New Year's Eve is called Hogmanay and 'first footing' remains a popular custom with people visiting friends' and neighbours' houses just after midnight. The first person who visits your house should bring a gift as this will mean good luck. In Spain, it is the custom to eat 12 grapes as the bells sound for midnight on 31 December. One grape is eaten at each sound of the bell and each grape is supposed to bring good luck for each month of the year ahead. In Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and some other Central and South American countries, people wear special underwear of different colours on New Year's Eve. Red is supposed to be good for bringing love in the new year, while yellow is supposed to bring money.

Out with the old, in with the new

The new year is a perfect time to make a change for the better. The tradition of making New Year's resolutions is more common in the western hemisphere but also exists in the eastern hemisphere. This tradition involves a person making a commitment to change an unwanted habit or behaviour or setting a personal objective. Typical New Year's resolutions might be to give up smoking, eat healthier food, do more exercise, become more organised or laugh more – but really, a New Year's resolution can be almost anything. However, research suggests that many New Year's resolutions fail. Being realistic about the objectives you set and not making too many New Year's resolutions might help you to achieve success.

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Submitted by Kikii jesy on Sun, 05/01/2020 - 19:40

Korea:i hang out with my members BLACKPINK and sing in concerts and be a secret santa and get them what they want and it is really fun sometimes we are with blinks and its the best we sing jennie cooks and lisa the funny one plays around with jisoo and i rose am helping jennie with cooking! Its funn
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Submitted by Cheick Sadibou on Thu, 02/01/2020 - 22:13

During the New year's Eve i use to hang out with friends at one's home. There we dance, drink and eat generally chicken. At midnight we share best wishes each other. But the problem with the young people is that everyone should come with a girl friend that night, and he who doesn't have a G F will not dare to show up to avoid the other's laughing.

Submitted by Pawani on Wed, 01/01/2020 - 12:14

on january 1st I go to temple.
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Submitted by TP on Wed, 01/01/2020 - 12:10

Here in Sri Lanka, we celebrate two New Year's days. One is on 1st of January and other is on 13th or 14th of April. The first one is the western New Year which we mostly celebrate according to western culture mixed with ours. The second one is our traditional New Year. There are many traditions and customs related to this. They can be different from one part to the other in the island. However, most people love this time because it falls in Spring just after the harvesting season.
Your traditional new year day is the same as ours. On that day, do you throw each other with water? In our country, it is called Thingyan Festival, also called water festival.

Submitted by parisaach on Sat, 28/09/2019 - 06:56

In my country we celeberate new year at the beginning of spring, when the weather is nice, and the trees bloom. Everything is so fresh, we clean our house and wear new clothes, some people buy new furnitures and some people want to change themselves. When the new year starts the family gather, they kiss and wish the best for eachother, and the holiday starts: offices are closed for 4 days and schools are closed 13 days. Many people go to a trip, others stay home and enjoy holiday, they visit their relatives and friends and trying to have good time. Most people like the new year celebration, no matter where, when and how. They try to change their lives in new year and enjoy holiday as much as they can, and it is a good time to rest and have fun after one year of hard working.
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Submitted by iso on Thu, 07/03/2019 - 23:40

In my country beginning of the new year believed that something will change for our lives.We go to temple to pray or confess sins that what we did last year.We confess our bad behavior what we did.after that family reward special food for me with relation .There are some fish dishes on a table .Some people climbing mountain to see first sun rise.There are so many people.I have never been there to avoid that.However it is a good opportunity start beginning of the new year.If I go to top of the mountain ,I might see breathtaking view.

Submitted by sebastian_96m on Wed, 13/02/2019 - 00:05

Hi everyone, Here in Colombia, people make a big party in New Year celebration, we used to prepare some food like “Lechona, Tamales”, specially the last word. However, it is common to stay drinking beer and some alcoholic drinks until 6 am or after. Colombia is a few contries who celebrate a lot all December, the first celebration of December is 7 December... I recommend you to research a little of my beautiful country, you will not regret
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Submitted by eirini1984 on Sun, 27/01/2019 - 08:18

Usually the 31 December is a very tiring day for me and generally the entire Christmas period, so i prefer to celebrate with my family at home ,listening to music, eating and drinking.