History, traditions and features of New Year's celebration in different countries. How is the holiday celebrated in Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia and Africa?
New Year in different countries is almost always a fun and noisy event, albeit sometimes not as significant as in most of the post-Soviet space (Old Europe, for example, is more happy about Christmas, Israel - Jewish Easter, India celebrates Republic Day much more widely.). And where there is a holiday, there is always a place for holiday traditions. Sometimes very, very exotic. However, you can learn about the New Year's customs of other nations with the help of a virtual tour, which we have prepared for you just below. No visas, passports and tedious flights! Only a cozy armchair, the very fragrant tangerines that you have probably already prepared for the upcoming holiday, and the most "delicious" facts from around the world.
New Year in Europe
Christmas tree, tangerines, firecrackers, Santa Claus in a red sheepskin coat, invariable "Blue Lights" and the President's speech on TV. All this breathes with coziness and warmth, but sometimes you really want something new and unusual! Why not give up on a tour of other countries at the end of this December to diversify your impressions of the New Year? Curious, open-minded and understanding travelers to foreign traditions, travelers will have time to do a lot of interesting things, "while the clock strikes 12".
In fact, we are not that different from the Europeans, despite the talk about the difference in mentality. We throw our shoes out of the gate, wondering about love, bake "surprises" in pies for good luck, and just like to have fun during the holidays. Believe me, our western neighbors are no different from us in this regard.
What a traveler can do in New Year's Europe:
- Become king in the Netherlands. Traditions of celebrating the New Year in different countries include the preparation of special pastries, but only in the Netherlands, a person who finds a pea or bean in his piece of pie in advance is proclaimed the king of New Year's Eve, after which he can choose a queen and give titles to courtiers.
- Taste plum jelly and throw a shoe in Finland. On the festive table of the Finns, two things will surely be found: rice porridge and fragrant plum jelly, which the hostesses prepare with special love. But do not hesitate to try something intoxicating like Scandinavian glög - red wine with fruit juice and spices. You still have to go out into the street to throw a shoe over your shoulder to find out where love will come from. By the way, does this custom remind you of anything?
- Break the plate and jump into the new year in Denmark. On the morning of January 1, at the entrance doors of the Danes, mountains of broken dishes rise up, which at night were smashed against the porch by family friends, wishing the owners good luck. And no one grumbles about the forced cleaning, because the higher the pile of shards, the more well-wishers a person has and the stronger his luck. And here it is supposed to climb higher a couple of minutes before midnight - on a table, sofa or armchair - and with the stroke of 12 hours jump into the new year and a new life. By the way, although the clinking of broken dishes and shouts of "For luck!" are distributed on New Year's Eve in different countries of the world, only the Danes, and even the Swedes, came up with the idea of doing this, breaking old dishes on the door of the person to whom the congratulation is intended.
- Dance by the fires and laugh in Iceland. A few hours before the New Year, people here massively take to the streets, burn fires, sing, dance and have fun in all available ways.Do not be surprised if you run into a troll by the fire: Santa Claus does not look to the Icelanders, but his role is successfully played by as many as 13 magical creatures! But an hour before midnight, the fires go out, silence reigns in the streets, and the celebrants rush home so as not to miss the next episode of the humorous show Auramoutaskoip, which has been on the air for more than half a century. According to polls, 98% of Icelanders watch it!
- Celebrate a holiday with strangers in Ireland. Inhabitants of the "Emerald Isle" on New Year's Eve hospitably open the doors of their houses so that any traveler can enter, warm up by the fire and raise a glass of wine with the hosts at the common table: it is believed that this brings peace to the family. If you are lucky, the wine will turn out to be honey, prepared according to an old recipe: alas, nowadays it is rare in Ireland, but it is not for nothing that New Year's traditions in different countries prescribe to serve dishes and drinks "with history" to the table.
- Light up the lights in Scotland. In the land of cakes and songs, they love New Year's lights. On a festive night, anyone who has a fireplace will certainly flood it, and if a large company gathers, wait for either a torchlight procession or a burning tar keg, which will be merrily rolled through the streets. If you fail to join the revelers, light at least a candle on the New Year's table so that luck can find you. In addition, with the first strike of the clock, you should open the back door of the house and send out the Old Year, and with the last one - open the front door in order to let in the New Year.
- Kiss under the mistletoe in England. Although the glory of the Christmas tree is firmly entrenched for the mistletoe, the inhabitants of foggy Albion have nothing against repeating the tradition to the sound of the New Year's bell. You will see dense green leaves with sharp tips above your head, do not hesitate to demand a kiss. Note: mistletoe is firmly entwined in the customs of New Years in different countries, but its glory of the "kissing" tree is much older than you might think. There is information that the Celts and ancient Romans used the plant for a similar purpose.
- Eat grapes in Spain. The Spaniards prepare in advance for the strike of the clock, laying out 12 large ripe grapes on a saucer, so that they can then eat them one at a time with each stroke of the clock, luring luck and happiness into life. An important condition: you cannot swallow the seeds, so look for grapes without them or get ready to feast on berries in the "chew and spit" mode.
- Dodge a flying chair in Italy. Italians believe that you can get rid of all the troubles of the outgoing year by throwing them out along with old unnecessary things. And although in recent years, through the efforts of activists fighting for safety on the streets, few people have thought of throwing chairs and tables out of windows in recent years, smaller items - flower pots, clothes, small household items - often fall under the feet of unwary passers-by.
- Break a pomegranate and donate a stone in Greece. In the first moments of the new year in Greece, the owner of the house goes out into the courtyard and launches a ripe pomegranate fruit into the wall of the house. The farther juicy seeds sprinkle around the yard, the more happiness the household will see. And among the Greeks, it is customary, along with congratulations, to bring a heavier cobblestone to the doorstep of friends, wishing that the wallet of those in the coming year remained the same weighty.
- Play the pipe in Hungary. Hungarians are sure that evil spirits are worthless music lovers, and they run as fast as they can from the sounds of musical instruments. It is now clear why, at midnight, the shrill trills of whistles and horns join the roar of firecrackers and the crackle of sparklers that accompany New Year's celebrations in different countries of the world at midnight! Moreover, anyone can join the crazy orchestra, adding their own note to the general hubbub. Stock up on headphones so as not to go deaf, and go ahead, have fun in spite of evil spirits!
- Get a secret kiss in Bulgaria. While the Russians in the first minutes of the new year shout "Hurray!" and substitute glasses under the foamy stream of champagne, in Bulgaria they flip switches, plunging rooms into darkness for 3 minutes. An excellent opportunity to once again congratulate your beloved on the holiday (only in a more sensual way) or to be invisible to rip a kiss from the lips of someone to whom you do not risk confessing your feelings in the daylight.
Note! Do not be offended if on the morning of January 1, someone lightly lashes you with a dogwood twig. So in Bulgaria has long been congratulating on the New Year, wishing happiness and health.
New Year in Latin America
Western America does not have its own characteristics of the New Year celebration. All its traditions were once brought here by emigrants from Europe, and the fact that time has slightly worked on their customs with a grinder does not change the essence of the matter. But Latin America can sometimes surprise even the most fastidious tourist.
What can be done here for the New Year:
- Unleash your desires in Brazil. Like Slavic girls on the night of Kupala, Brazilians on New Year's Day send miniature rafts with burning candles and offerings to the ocean goddess on the water. Whoever wants to make a wish, or rather, throws handfuls of white petals into the water and looks to see if the waves will carry them away from the shore: this is considered a good sign. And when a cannon shot marks the onset of midnight, everyone begins to hug each other to fill the coming year with love.
- Wash away sins and rest for hours in Cuba. The place of the usual champagne in the glasses of Cubans for the New Year is taken by clear water, which at midnight everyone merrily splashes out into the street from the windows, washing away the sins of the past year. But you will not be able to hear the expected 12 beats at midnight: after 11, the clock stops here in order to give them a rest with everyone on the holiday.
- Take a mini trip to Ecuador. Apparently, Ecuadorians are very restless people. Otherwise, why would one of the main New Year's traditions of the country prescribe to pick up a suitcase and quickly run around the house with it until the chime of the clock has stopped? If possible, you will spend the next 12 months traveling to the most interesting corners of the world.
Note! In some Latin American countries it is considered very important to choose the color … of the underwear in which you are going to celebrate the holiday. Are you experiencing a tight budget? Buy yellow panties. Feeling Lack of Love? Try on red ones. Do you want simple and quiet happiness? Wear snow white.
New Year in Australia
It can be exciting to learn how the New Year is celebrated in different countries of Europe and America, but it is even more interesting to turn to the traditions of the most remote continent - dangerous, exotic, but terribly attractive Australia.
How to have an unforgettable Australian New Year:
- Look at Santa Claus the surfer. Despite the absence of a fur coat and felt boots, the generous Grandfather moors to the beach, wearing his usual red cap with a pompom and a thick white beard, which looks especially impressive together with a swimming suit and a painted surfboard.
- Spend time on the beach. This is exactly what the mass of Australians are doing on December 31, in all seriousness considering the holiday primarily a day of beach picnics and parties, and only then - the change of the Old Year to the New. Why not follow their example and ignite among the palms and sand?
- Get a local Christmas tree. We are talking about Metrosideros - an evergreen plant that can grow up to 15 m in height. Parents put gifts for children under mature trees, and small ones sell them to tourists in flower pots.
New Year in Asia
What about mysterious Asia? How is the New Year celebrated in different countries of the mysterious East, where this holiday, by the way, does not come according to the European solar, but according to the Eastern lunar calendar - somewhere between February and March?
What traditions will the secretive Asia surprise the traveler with:
- Japan: straw, rake and ringing laughter. On New Year's Day, the Japanese are concerned with two things: how to let happiness into their home and prevent evil spirits from penetrating into it. The first question is dealt with with the help of a bamboo rake, standing at the front door, to make it easier to rake in luck, and a kite, which is launched into flight exclusively by men. And the second is handled by bundles of straw hanging at the door, and the ringing laughter of the household, scaring away the unclean forces.
- China: 108 sweet oranges. Before the festive night, the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire seal the windows with rice paper so that harmful forces cannot penetrate into the house, and they shoot back from otherworldly dirty tricks with loud crackers. And on the first lunar day of the Chinese New Year, ripe oranges are rolled into the dwelling and driven around the rooms so that happiness, love and prosperity roll in after the orange suns. The only exceptions are the toilet and bathroom, and even balconies.
- South Korea: rooster, tiger and sunrise in the mountains. On this day, half of the country is removed from the scene, leaving in the abandoned apartments the image of a rooster and a tiger to protect against intruders, and goes to visit relatives. People socialize at lavish tables, play family games, and go to sacred places to remember the departed and thus include them in the celebration. The year is considered ideal, the first morning of which we managed to meet in the mountains or on the seashore.
- Vietnam: guests of honor and live carps. It turns out that when all generations of the family gather at the table, it is not only pleasant, but also useful. According to the Vietnamese, anyone over 70 years old is able to spread his wisdom to those around him, just sitting next to him. And even if the owners of the house do not have family ties with the honored guest, they will still give the newcomer all kinds of signs of honor. And they are trying to enlist the help of higher powers here, releasing a live carp into the pond, on whose back the god must go to the heavenly spheres, collecting information about the inhabitants of the earth for a whole year.
- Myanmar (Burma): happy dousing. If you want to wish someone happiness, being in Burma for the New Year, stock up on clean water and, when you meet, douse the lucky man from head to toe, he will understand everything without words. But be ready to get a refreshing shower yourself: the people in Burma are friendly and do not regret happy wishes for visitors.
- India: a festival of lights. Indian New Year Diwali is celebrated in the fall, and the exact time and traditions of celebration in different states can differ in the most radical way. But, perhaps, nowhere do they do without bright multi-colored clothes, fresh flowers and numerous bowls with lights burning in houses, on streets, squares, in temples and in the night sky in the form of fireworks and flying lanterns.
Interesting fact! It is customary to celebrate the New Year in different Asian countries with friendly pouring of water and sprinkling with colored powder. For example, in Thailand, where it is celebrated as many as 3 times - according to the European, Buddhist and own calendar, many meet the end of the day wet, smeared and happy.
In some countries, the New Year is not celebrated in principle. This is typical, for example, for states where the main religion is Islam and Judaism. However, there are also dates here that mark the change of seasons. So, in Israel, they celebrate a holiday in the fall, during which they try to eat as many sweets as possible in order to make their life sweet in the coming year.
New Year in Africa
It is extremely difficult to single out purely African rituals of celebrating the New Year. Today, this date is celebrated here as different countries of the world celebrate the New Year - primarily England and France, which had their colonies on the hot continent.
Holiday entertainment on a hot continent:
- South Africa: everyone to the carnival! A cheerful carnival procession marks the day of the holiday, the ringing of bells and firing from guns - the approach of midnight, and in the morning the streets greet the cleaners with numerous rubbish thrown out of the windows in an attempt to clear a place for new happiness.
- Ethiopia: fragrant Christmas carols. The Enkutatash holiday, which in Ethiopia symbolizes the arrival of a new season and falls on September 11, is surprisingly reminiscent of folk festivities in Russia. Girls on this day sing and dance in the streets, collecting small gifts from adults, boys sell their own hand-drawn pictures, and adults burn bonfires from fragrant pine and eucalyptus branches and jump over the fire. Why not Christmas carols in half with Kupala? Only instead of snow, the houses are decorated with yellow gerbera flowers, resembling chamomile in shape.
- Côte d'Ivoire: a race with an egg in your mouth. Yes, this is exactly what the inhabitants of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, located in West Africa, are doing. The task of the competitors is to run a certain distance on all fours, without releasing a chicken egg from the mouth and without breaking it. Whoever managed, that and happiness!
How New Year is celebrated in different countries - watch the video:
Of course, the listed examples cannot cover all New Year traditions in different countries of the world. There are many times more of them, they are interesting, varied and sometimes very unexpected. But if you think about it, all the customs of the holiday have one goal: to cleanse yourself of past failures and mistakes, have fun and program yourself for a brighter future. Desirable, in the company of relatives, friends and loved ones. So with all the differences in mentality, we are not so different.