A Guide to how Different Countries Celebrate New Year
New Year's Eve is a time of celebration and joy around the world. Every country has its unique way of ushering in the new year, and each culture has its special traditions. From fireworks and champagne toasts to traditional foods and music, the ways different countries celebrate the new year are a fascinating display of culture and customs.
From the United States to Japan, and from France to India, each country has its unique way of celebrating the start of a new year. This guide will explore a few of the different ways countries around the world celebrate New Year's Eve.
Whether you’re looking for fun activities to enjoy on your own or are just curious to learn about other cultures, this guide will provide a glimpse into the various customs and traditions associated with New Year's Eve.
USA: Fireworks and Champagne Toasts
In the United States, New Year's Eve is a time for celebration and partying with friends and family. Attending parties and going to clubs and bars to mark a happy beginning of the next year is a common tradition in many countries. Some popular traditions include watching the ball drop in Times Square on television, singing "Auld Lang Syne," and making resolutions for the new year.
Many people also celebrate by setting off fireworks or lighting sparklers, and some communities host public celebrations and fireworks displays. Some people gather around a bonfire or participate in a polar bear plunge, where they take a dip in cold water to mark the start of the new year.
France: Celebrating with Friends
In France, New Year's Eve, known as la Saint-Sylvestre, is a time for celebration and partying with friends and family. Many people attend parties or go out to clubs and bars to ring in the new year. It is common for people to wear formal or fancy attire and to exchange kisses with loved ones at the stroke of midnight to mark the start of the new year.
In France, it is also traditional to serve a special meal on New Year's Eve, known as le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. This meal typically includes seafood, such as oysters, lobster, and foie gras, as well as a variety of other dishes. Champagne is often served as a celebratory drink.
Japan: Traditional Foods and Music
In Japan, New Year's Eve (Omisoka) is a time for family gatherings and traditional activities. Many people visit temples or shrines to pray for good fortune in the coming year. The custom of visiting temples and shrines at New Year's is known as Hatsumōde.
People also enjoy traditional New Year's foods such as osechi-ryōri, a type of food that is prepared in advance and eaten during the first three days of the new year, and mochi, a type of rice cake.
Another traditional activity is the practice of sending New Year's greeting cards, with warm new year wishes, known as nengajō. These cards, which are similar to Christmas cards in the West, are sent to family, friends, and business associates.
India: New Year's Eve Celebrations Around the Country
In India, New Year's celebrations vary depending on the region and cultural traditions. Some common themes and activities that may be part of these celebrations include praying and offering spiritual rituals, exchanging gifts and greetings, enjoying special meals, and participating in social and cultural activities.
For example, in Tamil Nadu, a southern state in India, people may prepare and enjoy dishes such as pachadi (a sweet and sour dish made with yoghurt, fruits, and vegetables) and vadai (a type of savoury snack).
In the northern state of Punjab, people may enjoy dishes such as Sarson ka saag (a dish made with mustard greens) and Makki ki roti (cornmeal flatbread).
Brazil: Street Parties and Parades
In Brazil, New Year's Eve, known as Réveillon, is a time for celebration and partying with friends and family. It is common for people to wear white, which is thought to bring good luck for the new year and to eat lentils, which are believed to bring prosperity.
In Brazil, it is also traditional to light candles and set off fireworks, and some people participate in the custom of jumping over seven waves, which is thought to bring good luck for the new year.
In conclusion, New Year's is a time for celebration and renewal, and it is marked in different ways around the world. From attending parties and setting off fireworks in the United States and Brazil, to participating in traditional activities and enjoying special meals in Japan and India, people around the globe find ways to mark the start of the new year and look forward to the future with hope and optimism.
Whether it's singing "Auld Lang Syne" in France or praying for good fortune in temples and shrines in Japan, New Year's is a time for people to come together with loved ones, express gratitude and well wishes, and celebrate the beginning of a new year.