Annie's New Year Around the World Page
~~Information Quoted from Publix Monthly Mailing~~

Floating Balloons

New Year Around the World

"New Year's is one of the oldest celebrated holidays and was first
observed 4000 years ago in ancient Babylon.

However, it hasn't always been celebrated on January 1st. Babylonians
began New Year's on what is now March 23rd, when new crops were
planted. The celebration lasted for 11 days. During the festival, the
king was sent away so everyone could do what they wanted for a few days.
At the end of the holiday, the king returned with a royal parade and
everyone went back to work.

Romans also celebrated New Year's during March. In 46 B.C., Roman
Emperor Julius Caesar created the Julian Calendar we still use today and
established January 1st as the beginning of the new year. This way, the
year was synchronized with the sun. Since then, New Year's Day has been
celebrated on January 1st in most of the world.

Although many counties celebrate New Year's on the same day, each
country has different traditions. In Southeast Asia they release birds and
turtles for good luck in the coming year. In Japan, people hang a rope of
straw in front of their houses signifying happiness and good luck. They
also begin to laugh at the exact moment the year begins, which is thought
to bring good fortune. In British Columbia, Canada, there is a traditional
polar bear swim, where people put on their bathing suits and take a swim
in the icy water.

Some countries have different names for their New Years' celebrations. In
Greece, New Year's Day is called the Festival of Saint Basil to fill with
gifts. In Scotland they celebrate Hogmanay. In some villages, they burn
barrels of tar and roll them through the streets, showing that the old
year is burned up and the new one can begin. Scottish people believe in
"first-footing" where the first person entering your house in the new year
will bring luck for the whole year.

Not all nations use a calendar that begins on January 1st. Chinese New
Year is celebrated between January 17th and February 19th, depending
upon the time of the new moon each year. Called Yuan Tan, Chinese people
all over the world celebrate this holiday with a street procession called
the Festival of Lanterns. Thousands of lanterns light the way for the new
year. In Vietnam the new year festival is called Tet Nguyen Dan, or Tet
for short, and begins between January 21st and February 19th. Many
people in Vietnam buy a carp fish and let it go free in a river or pond.
Like some Europeans, the Vietnamese also believe in first-footing.

In the United States, most people ring in New Year's by getting together
with family and friends. On New Year's Day, Americans have parades and
cookouts and watch football. Many people also make resolutions, vowing to
improve some part of their lives during the year.However you celebrate
New Year's is a good time to reflect on the past and plan for the future."

Related Pages: The Ultimate New Year's Quiz

Return to:
Annie's New Year Page
Annie's New Year History Page
Jakes "New Year Puzzle" Page

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