New Year is the most favorite holiday of children and adults. Gifts, fireworks, congratulations, Santa Claus, Snow Maiden and the atmosphere of magic are everywhere! But it turns out that different countries celebrate the New Year in their own way. How is this wonderful holiday celebrated abroad?
Like other nations, the Italians have many interesting New Year’s traditions in store. They are mainly related to catching luck by the tail. Indeed, in Italy they also believe that the night from December 31 to January 1 is magical and that it can fulfill any desire!
On New Year’s Eve in Italy, fireworks are set off across the country. And the more powerful, brighter, louder they are, the better! But the Italians love fireworks so much not only because they are beautiful. They believe that noise and light drive away evil spirits.
The people of Italy are celebrating the New Year in red clothes. People believe that this color brings great luck, so a person should have at least something red. But it’s even better if the tablecloths, napkins and dishes are also red, and there are coins and candles on the windowsill. Then luck and wealth is guaranteed to pursue the whole next year.
In the last minutes of the year, the inhabitants of sunny Italy throw away old things. Thus, people get rid of bad energy and lure success into the house.
The last strike of the clock in the outgoing year, the Italians meet with an interesting tradition, for which you need to put 12 grapes on the festive table. When the clock strikes, each guest of the feast takes one grape from the dish. The person who ate the last berry is a real lucky one! In the new year, he will be the happiest and most successful.
The traditional New Year’s table in Italy is represented by dishes that are symbols of wealth, good luck, and prosperity. These are lentils, zampone (stuffed pork), kotekino (spicy sausage), sweet pies.
By the way, New Year’s gifts in Italy are given not on January 1, but on January 6! It is not Santa Claus who brings them, but the old sorceress Befana. Well-behaved children find gifts in their stockings in the morning, and naughty children find coals in their stockings.
In Japan, the New Year is celebrated from December 31st to January 1st. And although this holiday is not as popular as Christmas, the Japanese still celebrate it.
On New Year’s Eve, the Japanese like to stay at home with loved ones. They do not arrange celebrations and large feasts. They eat tangerines, persimmons, as well as a traditional New Year’s dish — cold buckwheat soba noodles. The longer the noodles, the happier life in the new year!
In Japan, the chimes strike not 12, but as many as 108 times! This number is considered magical: with each new blow, the worst qualities leave a person (for example, greed, stupidity, anger — and there are 108 of them in total), so a person enters the new year clean, innocent, free.
After 108 strikes, the Japanese go out into the street and go to hatsumode — this is the name of the very first visit to the temple in the new year. Having stood in a long line, the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun throw a coin into a special hole near the altar, pull a large rope so that the deity hears the prayers of a person, clap their hands twice and make a wish.
Children are always given money for the new year, such a gift is called “otoshidama”. They are presented in special beautiful envelopes. It is also customary to give fruit baskets, traditional sweets, as well as daruma, a Japanese tumbler doll.
Interestingly, the daruma has no eyes. According to legend, the person to whom it was presented should make a wish and draw a daruma pupil. When the desire is fulfilled, it is necessary to finish the second one.
How is the New Year celebrated in a country where there is no snow? It turns out to be a lot of fun and even more than once!
In India, the New Year is celebrated 4 times:
- From December 31st to January 1st. This is the traditional New Year, which is celebrated mainly by young people. Since there are no live firs in India, mango trees are beautifully dressed up instead.
- January 13-14. This Indian New Year is called Lori. On this day, Indian children receive gifts from a large tray, but they must choose it with their eyes closed! Since Lori is the celebration of the end of winter, people all over India light bonfires as a symbol of the end of the year and dance around them. Sweet rice, corn, nuts, radish are served on the table in Lori.
- March 20-22. It is celebrated in India on a large scale. Gifts are given for several days in a row! And if the gift is money, the amount must be odd. Bariani is served on the New Year’s table — rice with potatoes, meat, beans, as well as meat with curry seasoning. On holidays, Indians arrange huge processions, carnivals, fly kites and fireworks, and decorate themselves with bright flowers.
- At the end of October. This new year in India is called Diwali. During the celebration, Indians light a lot of candles and lamps, and decorate bushes and trees with them. It is customary to celebrate Diwali at home with the family, eating cakes, curry stews and fruits. Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped these days — it is she who brings good luck and prosperity to the Indians.