New Year happens in different countries at different times with various traditional customs, from watching fireworks to enjoying special dishes. This article will help you to explore the customs of the New Year holiday in some countries around the world so that you will understand more about people, cultures and lifestyles in these places.
New Year in the USA
In the New Year, American people often visit their family, relatives and friends or eat food. However, the first day of the New Year is always a quiet day for many Americans. They usually stay at home with relatives during the day.
On the night of December 31, thousands of Americans gather in Times Square. They stand close together waiting for the first moment of the New Year. When everyone shouted the last second, a beautiful glass sphere fell down. When the sphere touches the ground, all the people shout “Happy New Year!” together sing the beautiful melody of the traditional song “Auld Lang Syne” and toss colorful pieces of paper to the sky.
The traditional New Year celebration began in 1904 when the owner of the One Times Square held a party on top of the building. Currently, the roof of the building is still selected as the location of the glass sphere which contains thousands of pieces of glass that symbolizes stars shining through the darkness of the old year.
Many Americans celebrate the New Year with banquets at home or in public areas. When the clock says exactly 12 o’clock, they hug each other, dance to good tunes and clink glasses to wish for the best luck.
More interesting is that many people dress unique clothes and eat special food. Those who desire for a true love usually choose yellow suits while those who hope to make a lot of money wear the costume in silver.
Many others have delicious meals to welcome the New Year. A special ponit is that they eat cabbage in the hope that this dish will bring them luck and money. In the south, a traditional New Year meal includes beans, onions, rice and bacon.
British New Year
Although the New Year in England is not celebrated as ceremonially as Christmas holiday, there are many interesting celebrations conducted in accordance with its own custom. On the last night of the last year, people together flock to Trafalgar Square and Piccally Circus to hear the sound of Big Ben in London which signals the arrival of new year. Everyone will together hold the hands and sing Auld Lang Syne.
On New Year’s Eve, the British drink wine, eat pastries and wish other people a happy new year. Normally, the British do not knock; instead, they go straight to the houses of friends or relatives. According to the British custom, after the New Year’s Eve, the first person entering the house will signal a year of good or bad luck.
If the first guest is a black-haired man or a happy and wealthy person, the host will achieve a host of luck all year long. In contrast, if the first guest is a pale blonde-haired girl or a sad and poor person, the host will suffer a series of calamities and difficulties in the new year. The guest in the New Year’s Eve is often required to poke the fire before talking and wish the owner to be in luck.
New Year in India
New Year in India lasts 5 days, starting on October 31; the fourth day is considered the first day of the new year. In the New Year, no one is allowed to be angry and sulky. In some parts of India, on the first morning of the new year, the eyes of everyone are moistened with tears to welcome the new year. In other places, all the people fast for one day one night. On the first morning of the New Year, after blessing each other, they take a little blusher from a small bag and apply them on the forehead of other people to wish for luck. Even young people pour red ink into the water gun and spray on friends and relatives.
The local people decorates the windows and the doors with tiny lamps. The doorstep of each house is covered with different colored figures, which is a symbol of hospitality. To welcome the New Year, the locals get up at 4 or 5 a.m. Decorative lamps are turned on, people dress up and go to visit the elder to pray for good things, peace of mind and good health. On the first day of New Year, people reminisce about the past and say good wishes for the future.
New Year in China
The traditional Chinese New Year is the most important holiday of the year. Starting from December 8th of Lunar Calendar, a large number of Chinese people around the world come home to reunite with family, gather together to make good food to worship ancestor. The festivals in the Lunar New Year last until the January 15th.
Before this holiday, the Chinese people clean the house to release unlucky things. According to the custom, the locals explode firecrackers to evict demons and bad luck. People often bring peach blossoms to their home of the opinion that this flower represents the fortune. In the new year, children and old people are usually given lucky money, which is called “lixi”, the money in a red envelope. According to the Chinese calendar, each year corresponds to an animal; therefore in the year of the animal, people usually avoid eating its meat at the beginning of the year. To prepare for the New Year, the Chinese people often decorate the house with red couplets and set off firecrackers to wish for a happy new year.