Around the world, people count down the seconds to when the clock strikes twelve on December 31st to welcome in the New Year. In western society and generally accepted across the globe, the Gregorian calendar welcomes a New Year every 365 days beginning on January 1st.
When midnight strikes, the world celebrates with their own exclusive customs, traditions and rituals with things such as uncorking champagne, watching the NYE Ball Drop, lighting fireworks or hosting exquisite feasts all in the spirit of bringing hope, prosperity and positivity into the New Year.
But many countries follow different New Year Calendars as part of their tradition and celebrate their own New Year according to those calendars. Here are 5 New Year Celebrations from around the world…
Chinese New Year
Many of us are familiar with the fact that the Chinese culture celebrate their own New Year. Chinese New Year has a changing date which typically falls between Jan. 21st – Feb. 21st depending on when the new moon of the first lunar month falls. Unlike the Gregorian New Year hosting one night of celebration, Chinese New Year is a 15-day observance and is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, known as “Spring Festival. This year the celebration will take place on February 8th. Traditions include throughly cleansing your entire house in order to sweep away ill-fortune and make way for incoming good luck, lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelops. This year is the Year of the Monkey. Parades and extravagant festivals take place throughout the 15 days in celebration.
Islamic New Year
The Islamic New Year, also known as the Hijra New Year falls on the first day of Muharram, which is the first month in the Islamic calendar. Their New Year has passed, starting on the evening of October 13th and ending in the evening on October 14th 2015. This is determined by the new moon. The Islamic New Year is traditionally celebrated with special prayers and fireworks.
Jewish New Year
The Jewish New Year known as Rosh Hashanah is celebrated in autumn on the first two days of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. In Jewish culture, it is a time of introspection and to reflect on their mistakes over the past year with plans to make changes for the year ahead. This day is one of the holiest days of the year in Jewish culture and traditionally the day is spent in a synagogue. It is also custom to eat apples dipped in honey as a symbol for the sweet New Year. Rosh Hashanah 2016 began on October 2nd and ended October 4th.
Thai New Year
Songkran is celebrated from April 13th-15th and is one of the funniest and most unique New Years Celebrations across the globe. In celebration the main activity is throwing water. They throw containers of water, use water guns, garden hoses and even elephants to soak one another. The water is symbolic in the hopes to bring good rains in the New Year. They also cleanse all Buddha statues and images for good luck and prosperity.
Ethiopian New Year
Also referred to as Enkutatash which means “the gift of jewels” and occurs on Sept 11th or Sept 12th if there is a leap year. The celebration begins with attending church in the morning, then familiars gather to share a traditional meal of injera and wat, which is flatbread and stew. Later in the day young girls dress in new clothing and gather a bouquet of daises to present to their friends singing New Years songs. The celebration is a day of dancing, singing and religion although the celebration is not exclusively a religious one. Modern Enkutatash exchange formal greetings and cards in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers.
For Toronto New Years Eve 2016 nightlife and events, visit our events guide.