New Year Celebrations Around the World
The New Year is associated with new beginnings. People start the new year with hopes and motivation. They want to overcome all the problems that they faced in the previous year. For this reason, many people write their new year’s resolutions.
The new year is not about changing the time, date, month, and year. However, it is the start of a new beginning. We all live the same life, but we try to break the status quo with new year resolutions. People all around the world welcome this new beginning with enthusiasm.
Moreover, celebrations of the new year around the globe vary according to culture. Let’s have a look at how people around the world celebrate the new year.
New Year Celebrations in the USA
In the USA, new year celebrations start on the eve of December 31st. It is the last day of the year.
The new year is a major social event. In some cities of the USA like Louisiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, it is a public holiday. Therefore, all offices and businesses are closed.
On New Year’s Eve, many people hold parties at home to welcome the new year. Large public events are also held in many cities. Thousands of people attend this event.
One of the most important events of the New Year’s Eve celebration is the ball drop in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City. This ball is composed of electric lights and crystals.
It is placed on a 77 feet or 23-meter-high pole. On 31st December, one minute before midnight, the ball is lowered down the pole. It comes across the bottom of the pole at midnight, at the exact time of the new year. People around the world viewed it on television. The history of this event is dated back to 1907 excluding World War II.
The USA is known as a melting pot because people from different cultures reside there. Therefore, in different cities, different versions of the ball are used.
Different varieties of objects are lowered down at the last minute of the year. These objects can be fruits, wild animals, vegetables, industrial machinery, and automobiles.
People, on the last day of the year, gather at each other’s houses to greet the happy new year. Hosts serve foods that they consider lucky. They include Pork because according to them, it represents prosperity and progress.
Beans and cabbage are included to represent money. Moreover, they also include circular foods like donuts, bagels, biscuits, and cakes. Some people bake products and they also include some coins baked inside them.
One of the famous new year dishes is Hoppin John. It is a traditional new year dish of South America. It is made up of cabbage, ham, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, and cornbread.
New Year Celebrations in China
You will be amazed to know that China’s new year doesn’t start on 31st Dec. It will fall on Tuesday, February 1st. Therefore, in China, the new year holidays start from January 31st to February 6th, 2022.
Chinese New Year is called the Lunar New year. Another astonishing thing to note about the Chinese year is that each year is associated with an animal sign. These are 12 animals like ox, rat, rabbit, dragon, horse, snake, dog, pig, monkey, rooster, tiger, and goat.
The Chinese people celebrate the new year by decorating their house and inviting people for dinner. They clean their houses before the spring festival. According to them, they sweep away the bad luck of the prior year and make their homes ready to catch the good luck.
They use red in their house because they consider it an auspicious color that brings energy and prosperity. It removes the negativity and evil spirits. Therefore, they hang red lanterns in the streets.
One of the important new year traditions followed in Chinese New Year is that they visit their ancestors’ graves, the day before the Chinese New Year. They offer sacrifices to ancestors before their dinner.
For this, they put fish and an extra glass on the dinner table on New Year’s Eve. The Chinese new year’s dinner is called reunion dinner. Chinese people give great importance to their elders. Therefore, several generations get together for this dinner.
Chinese people also exchange gifts in red envelopes. These envelopes have money on them, and they are mostly given to senior citizens and children. The people that receive the red envelope are considered safe and peaceful for another year.
The money is given in even numbers like 6 and 8 except for 4 which is considered a sign of death. Other gifts that people exchange for the new year are tea, fruits, candies, and alcohol.
The Chinese New Year festivities also include the display of fireworks and firecrackers in major cities of the country. They think that by fireworks they can put away evil and welcome the new year. Chinese people go for fireworks in the last minutes of Chinese New Year.
New Year Celebrations in Spain
In Spain, the new year celebration starts in the early hours. People go to parties and have fun. If you want to celebrate the new year in any foreign country, then Spain is a good option.
You must be wondering how the people of Spain celebrate the new year. They eat twelve grapes one by one with a tickle of the clock on 31st Dec. If you can eat all the grapes, then it is assumed that you will be prosperous and lucky the entire year.
Eating grapes on New Year’s Eve is a tradition. The clicking of the cloak is shown on TV across Spain. Family and friends get together to have a delicious feast together. In towns and villages, people go to a famous central square to have grapes and share the last moments of the year.
The famous square of this tradition is Puerta del Sol, which is in Madrid. At every new year night, people from around the world come and gather around the cloak to welcome the new year.
The square converts into a shared party with music, confection, and party blowers. Moreover, they wear masks, hats, and wigs to enjoy the party to its fullest. Their excitement is at its peak after eating grapes. They also uncork the bottles. In short, the air is full of joy and best wishes.
The streets of Spain are crowded with young people. They play music and honk their horns to greet the new year. Clubs and bars are also booked for parties. Parties keep on going until dawn.
Many hotels and restaurants also organize special dinners and parties for new year’s festivities. If you plan to celebrate the new year in Spain, then you must reserve tickets and rooms in hotels.
One of the new year traditions of Spain is to have black-eyed peas, a big bowl of soup, and ham for lunch. According to them, this lunch combination brings good luck in the coming year. They believe that tiny round lentils represent a coin. Therefore, if you eat the soup of coins, then it will bring wealth in the coming year.
Read Also: 15 Most Interesting Cultural Activities in Spain
New Year Celebrations in Denmark
Do you know that most Danish people start decorating their homes in December? Perhaps for Christmas. They decorate their houses for the new year only if they want to throw a party.
They decorate most of their homes before the arrival of the guest. The left is done by the guests. They use table bombs, confetti, and multicolored serpentine that make their carpets glitter for months. They also buy funny hats for their guests so that they can wear them at the party.
Listening to the Queen’s speech is one of the projected traditions of the new year. Queen Margrethe II is a respectable figure, and her speech is a live broadcast from Fredensborg Castle at 6:00 pm.
The new year celebrations start with the speech of the queen. She usually addresses issues in the society and mentions their connection with Greenland and the Faroe Islands that are an important part of the kingdom.
Danish people like to eat boiled cod in Denmark, but at present many people are not following this tradition. The time before the new year, the TV broadcast is connected to the town hall in Copenhagen.
At that time, the entire country starts counting down the last minutes together, and they cheer when the clock goes at 12. After that, a traditional hymn of Denmark followed by two national anthems is played. Thus, the Danish people celebrate their new year with a touch of nationalism.
Many Danish people jump from the chair to the couch. They consider this act a symbol of good luck. They do it immediately when the clock strikes midnight. This tradition is popular with kids. After jumping to the ground, partners embrace and wish each other a happy new year.
Dessert is an important part of the Danish feast. The traditional cake is called Kransekage, it is a circlet cake. It is served with champagne after midnight. The origin of this cake is also from Denmark.
This cake is also very famous in other Nordic regions. The cake is in the shape of a tower. It is decorated with stripes of white frosting and sometimes with the design of the Danish flag. The fact about this sweet cake is that many people don’t like it. However, they eat it because it is a part of the new year tradition.
2021 was a year of turmoil all over the world. This is because of the pandemic Covid-19. We all were restricted to our homes. Many people have lost their loved ones. Now the intensity of this lethal disease is over, and we all are back to our normal lives.
So, let’s forget the turmoil of 2021 and make our new year’s resolutions. Welcome, 2022 with great enthusiasm. Celebrate it according to your country’s culture and tradition without offending anyone. How do you celebrate the new year in your country?
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