New Year’s Eve is a special time. In different parts of the world, there are many different and amazing ways to celebrate it. For us, the most familiar traditions were the opportunity to get together, enjoy the fireworks and enjoy the luxuriously laid table, which has both good food and champagne. Of course, to this is added a joyful mood, and warm wishes in honor of the coming year.
The custom of making New Year’s promises has become a kind of tradition – for example, to leave some bad habits in the past year and start the new year with a clean slate. The New Year is just the time when people take stock of the past and set goals for the future.
The ancient Estonians also celebrated the first day of the New Year.
Ancient Estonians believed that everything done at the time of the change of the year, has a strong impact on life in the beginning of the year. Therefore, we tried to guarantee a good harvest and offspring of livestock in the New year with the help of New Year customs. Straw was brought into the room and scattered on the floor – the adults could comfortably stretch out on the floor and talk slowly, while the young people played and had fun. New Year’s blood “koloboks“ were served on the table, and wonderful games were played. They were waiting for a New Year’s goat, which was usually portrayed by village boys. They tried to predict the future, for example, they cast happiness out of wax. These customs have not been forgotten in our days.
In Japan, New Year’s Eve is the most important holiday.
If we often celebrate the New Year almost in the same way as Christmas, then, for example, in Japan, New Year’s Eve is the most important holiday. They prepare for it especially carefully: they prepare traditional Japanese dishes, and they make so many of them that they will last until January 3.
Children are especially happy, because on the occasion of New Year’s holidays they receive gifts from relatives. In most cases – this is a greeting card, inside which there is a small amount of pocket money. In general, in Japan, New Year greeting cards are sent out in huge numbers, and everyone carefully monitors that they fall into the hands of friends and relatives on January 1. Gambling is played in Greece.
The Greeks like to celebrate the New Year by gambling. All over the country, they play cards and dice, play in cafes and just at home. A silver or gold coin is baked in the pie – it is believed that the person who found it will be very lucky next year.
The Spaniards eat grapes, and the Dutch burn Christmas trees.
The Spanish ritual of seeing off the old year involves eating twelve grapes at midnight. This action represents happiness in each of the twelve months of the coming year.
The Dutch custom is to build bonfires of Christmas trees in the streets, set them on fire, and also arrange fireworks. In the fire, all the old, the past, is burned, and the new, which is born, is also welcomed with fire.
In China, the New Year begins at a different time.
According to the Chinese calendar, the New Year begins on the second full moon after the winter solstice and therefore usually falls on the end of January or the beginning of February. New Year for the Chinese is a family event that they want to celebrate in the company of relatives. As with us, the ancient customs there have remained in the background, but the Chinese people still clearly follow the tradition of spending time with their family.
Still, so that the ancestors and their customs are not completely forgotten, the tradition of eating dumplings on the occasion of the New Year is alive in Northern China. The same thing is done in the south, but there they are prepared as a dessert. The ritual eating of dumplings symbolizes for the Chinese the reunion with their ancestors. New Year is a holiday and a special event, probably in all countries and cultures. Traditions, of course, differ, but the New Year’s holiday is celebrated everywhere-both at the state level and in the circle of relatives and close people. This is the symbolic beginning of a new life, which brings new ideas, opportunities and hope.