miércoles, 29 de julio de 2015


We all know about New Year's Eve and how it is generally celebrated on Dec 31st. It makes us think of Christmas, but did you know that there are other dates for New Year's Eve depending on the culture, the religion or others?. 


It is celebrated in New Zealand and it lasts a month, it coincides with the rising of the Pleiades before dawn in June. For Maori people it means a new phase of life, these stars are like little eyes that watch over the people and the land, the word Matariki means tiny eyes. 

The Pleiades or Seven Sisters is an open star cluster located in the constellation of Taurus. It is one of the nearest and most visible star clusters to Earth at night. 

The festival is a time for the Maori people to come together and celebrate rituals, share food, music and hospitality. You can attend the Matariki Festival in Auckland or the Kapa Haka ( the Maori performing arts festival) and enjoy music, theatre, poetry or traditions. This is a time for showing heritage and cultural identity. 



The Islamic New Year is the first day in the Islamic lunar calendar.
Traditionally, Islamic New Year begins with the first sighting of the new Moon crescent in the month of Muharram, so date may vary with location.
It is a sacred month and some Muslims fast on or around the 10th day of Muharram, also known as the Day of Ashura. It differs from one country to another.


The Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after the winter solstice and falls between January 21 and February 19 on the Gregorian calendar. Chinese months follow the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. 

In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare and celebrate the New Year, people travel long distances to gather with their family.  Chinese children dress in new clothes, usually red. People carry lanterns and join in a huge parade led by a silk dragon, the Chinese symbol of strength. According to legend, the dragon hibernates most of the year, so people throw firecrackers to keep the dragon awake.

In the Chinese lunar calendar each of the 12 years is named after an animal. According to Legend, Lord Buddha asked all the animals to come to him before he left the earth. Only 12 animals came to wish him farewell, and as a reward Buddha named a year after each one.


In September or October, Jews believe that God opens the Book of Life for 10 days, starting with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and ending with Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). During these days, the holiest in the Jewish year, Jews try to atone for any wrongdoing and to forgive others. A ram's horn trumpet, known as the shofar, is blown before and during Rosh Hashanah and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur.

People attend synagogues, greet each ohter, recite poems and eat spaecial food such as dates, pastries, stuffed vegetables, apples with honey or pomegranates and others. 


In Thailand, a special three–day water festival on April 13–15 marks Songkran, the Buddhists' celebration of the new year. Parades show huge statues of Buddha that spray water on passersby. In small villages, young people throw water, ice cubes or even flour at each other for fun. People also release fish into rivers as an act of kindness.

At Songkran, people tie strings around each other's wrists to show their respect. A person can have as many as 25 or 30 strings on one wrist, each from a different person. The strings are supposed to be left on until they fall off naturally. People visit temples or wats to meditate or pray and help the monks.

Some more History
Ancient Greeks began their new year with the new moon after June 21. Before the time of Julius Caesar the Roman new year started on March 1. In most European countries during the Middle Ages the new year began on March 25, the day of the Feast of the Annunciation.

More New Year Traditions

  • Indonesia also has two New Year celebrations — the official one on January 1 and another on the Islamic New Year, whose date varies from year to year as we have explained before.
  • The Russian Orthodox Church observes the New Year according to the Julian calendar, which places the day on January 14.
  • In Vietnam the new year usually begins in February.
  • Iran celebrates New Year's Day on March 21.
  • Each of the religious groups in India has its own date for the beginning of the year. One Hindu New Year, Baisakhi, comes sometime in April or May.
  • The Koreans celebrate their New Year the first three days in January.


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