The year has ended and another has begun. Around this time, the common greeting is “Happy New Year!” or “Have a great New Year!” However, the transition from 2013 to 2014 is not celebrated in all countries, and wishing this to someone who doesn’t go by the Gregorian calendar (also known as the Western or Christian calendar), for example, could be a little awkward.
These are some of the countries where the year 2014 is not celebrated:
In Saudi Arabia, authorities established recently, through a political and religious norm, that the celebration of the Western New Year is unequivocally prohibited; this is a rule that also covers the celebration of days like Saint Valentine’s. This prohibition extends to tourists as well. However, New Year is celebrated by following the lunar Islamic calendar.
In Iran, they go by the Persian Calendar. New Year is normally referred to as Nouruz and coincides with the arrival of spring. This upcoming 21st of March, the year 1393 will be welcomed.
Spring also influences the arrival of the New Year in China, where this is known as the Spring Holiday. According to the Lunisolar calendar used in the region, on the 31st of January the year 4712 will be celebrated, which will end the Chinese Year of the Snake and begin the Year of the Horse.
In Korea, New Year is known as Seol-nal and its festivities last 3 days. Contrary to the rest of the countries mentioned above, New Year is celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, but the main festivities take place according to the lunar calendar, making it one of the country’s most important events.
Therefore, it is necessary to be cautious during these days and be conscious of this fact, particularly in places where you’re more likely to be surrounded by people who come from multiple backgrounds and different nationalities.