With the holidays coming to close this week, it’s interesting to see how different cultures and religions celebrated these special times. Around the world, countries from all over partook in feasts, reunions, dancing, and hey, even quiet times! But alas December came and went and incredibly, we are now sliding into the end of the very first week of January 2013. So, since the beloved New Year’s holiday took place only a couple of days ago, how did people from around the globe celebrate this week?
In China for instance, “Yuan Tan” (New Year’s) is celebrated from January 17th to February 19th, when the new moon is in the air. With thousands of lanterns illuminating the air and silk dragons (the dragon is a symbol of strength) gliding down the streets, this holiday is an important time of year for the Chinese people.
In Greece, St. Basil’s Day happens to occur on January 1st. A forefather of the Greek Orthodox Church, Saint Basil was a man known for his generosity and kind spirit who happened to die on this day. Considered perhaps more important than Christmas, at this time of year, children leave their shoes out hoping Saint Basil will leave them gifts.
For people of the Jewish faith, this time of year also brings special meaning. Known as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish utilize this time to remember the sins they have committed in the past, to forgive others, and to promise to be better in the future. The conclusion of this takes place 10 days later and is known as Yom Kippur.
In cities such as London and New York, New Year’s Eve is celebrated during the coldest time of year, where adults and children alike stay awake until 12am to celebrate the change. When the clock strikes 12, friends and family embrace and holler, toast champagne and even light fireworks.
There are so many wonderful ways to bring in the new year. What are some of the ways people in your country celebrate?