Chinese new year

New year – across the world

Happy new year to everyone!!!

Every year, new year is celebrated across the globe. There are different ways to celebrate the beginning. In following paragraphs, we will find that how this is celebrated across different regions and countries.

New year all over the world

Christians all over the world celebrate this day on first january, the first day of the year. This is the first day of the year as per the Gregorian and Roman calendar.  Now, the most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar,  First January can be treated as the de facto new year across the globe.

On New Year’s Day, people in some countries gather on beaches and run into the water to celebrate the new year. This is very popular in United Kingdom , Canada, the Republic of Ireland, , the United States and the Netherlands.

These events are sometimes known as polar bear plunges, and are sometimes organized by groups to raise money for charity. In Greece and Cyprus, lights are switched off at midnight.In Russia and in former republics of the Soviet Union, the celebration of Old New Year is accomplished by fireworks and drinking champagne. The year is also known as Novi God.

Indian new year

Though January first is the practical new year date across India, still following festivities traditionally considered to be the new year dates. Following regions celebrate various festivals.

Bihar – In eastern part of india, Holi marks the new year. The new years begins on  Chaitra, 1st day of the Krishna Paksha. For them on this day the last year has died. For this reason in some provinces like Bihar and UP.  Holika dahan is also called ‘Samvatsar Dahan’. On this day all the bitterness and evil memories of the last year are burnt in the fire and the New Year is begun with a celebration.

 

Kerala – This is celebrated on 14th April. This is Kerala’s summer harvest festival Vishu. Vishu Kani – In the wee hours people woke up to see the ‘Vishu Kani’, the ceremony of looking at auspicious articles such as rice, gold, the glowing seasonal flower ‘konna’ and fruits and vegetables tastefully arranged in platters.

Kerala new year - Vishu

Kerala new year – Vishu

 

Punjab – Baisakhi, which falls on 13th or 14th April, is the new year for the region of Punjab. This day is also celebrated as the beginning of the Hindu solar new year. This date is celebrated by people across Nepal, the Assam Valley, Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal and other regions of India.In Himachal Pradesh, the Hindu Goddess Jwalamukhi is worshipped on Vaisakhi. In  Bengal,  Poila Baisakh is celebrated.  Assamese celebrate this day as  Bihu.

Baisakhi - Punjabi new year

Baisakhi – Punjabi new year

Chinese new year

This is also the spring festival which marks the end of winter. This is the most important chinese festival. Families gather to celebrate this festival. They take the dinner together. Food will include delicacies such as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweets. The family will end the night with firecrackers. This festival is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar. This is a fifteen day long festival. Since China follows the lunisolar calendar, Chinese new year is also referred as Lunar New Year.

 

Chinese new year

Chinese new year

The dragon

Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology. Contrary to European dragons, which are considered evil, Chinese dragons symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over elements, such as, water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck.The worship of the Dragon Kings as rulers of water and weather continues in many areas, and is deeply ingrained in Chinese cultural traditions such as Chinese New Year celebrations.

Japanese new year

Japanese celebrate their new year on January first. Long time ago, they were aligned with Chinese new year. They have adopted the gregorian calendar, and now they celebrate this on January first. An important custom is Bell Ringing, where on new year eve, Buddhist temples all over Japan ring their bells a total of 108 times to symbolize the 108 human sins as per the belief, and to get rid of the 108 worldly desires regarding sense and feeling in every Japanese citizen. A major attraction is The Watched Night bell, in Tokyo. Japanese believe that the ringing of bells can rid off their sins during the previous year.

On this day, Japanese people have a custom of giving money to children. This is known as otoshidama . This is given in small decorated envelopes called ‘pochibukuro,’ similar to Goshugi bukuro or Chinese red envelopes and to the Scottish handsel.

Japanese-new-year-christmas-illuminations

Japanese-new-year-christmas-illuminations

 

Jewish new year – “Rosh Hashanah” 

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on the first two days of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. In Jewish thought, Rosh Hashanah is the most important judgment day, on which all the inhabitants of the world pass for judgment before the Creator. Next date for this is  Jewish Year 5773: sunset September 16, 2012 – nightfall September 18, 2012.

Rosh Hashana is a two-day holiday. Special services are held in synagogues. The hight of services is the blowing of the Shofar (ram’s horn) according to the commandment in the Torah. We pray that God forgives our sins and inscribes us in the book of life, planning a good new year. At home, families get together for festive meals featuring many traditional foods. Mostly it is costumary to eat sweet things on the New Year, bread dipped in honey, apples in honey etc.
The head of a fish or lamb is also costumary. During the meal many symbolic foods are eaten, each with a wish for a good new year. It is customary to eat a fruit you have yet tasted that year on the second night. People dress in their best outfits for this holiday, many times – wearing new clothes. People salute each other wishing a good year or sweet good year – Shana Tova or Shana Tova uMetuka.

Although Rosh Hashanah marks the change of the Jewish calendar year, Nisan is considered the first month of the Hebrew calendar. The Mishnah indicates that the year of the reign of Jewish kings was counted from Nisan in Biblical times. Nisan is also considered the beginning of the calendar year in terms of the order of the holidays.

 Zoroastrian new year – “Nowruz”

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.

 

People across the world exchange new year cards to wish every one on New Year. Nowadays, after the advent of internet , e-cards are also used to exchange new year greetings. This day is celebrated on different days on different regions, but universally this day is seen as the onset of good things to come.

 

Comments

  1. Ritesh Sinha says:

    Good article on new year

  2. Nisha Rawat says:

    New Year comment.