Interesting Facts about New Year Celebrations

December 31, 2011 | Interesting Facts

Fireworks up the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand

Everyone knows what exactly New Year is all about. It’s as simple as welcoming a new day and waving yesterday goodbye.

New Year marks the completion of the earth’s 365-day journey around the sun and the start of another year-long journey. It is always celebrated with much fanfare and enthusiasm by people around the world.  According to Charles Lamb, an English essayist,  “New Year’s day is every man’s birthday.”

Although considered as global holiday because of its worldwide observance every 1st of January, New Year’s Celebration is observed at a different time and date by some people in many parts of the world.

Before starting a fresh new start this coming 2012, let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts about New Year’s Eve in other parts of the world.

How some countries celebrate the New Year’s Eve?

  1. Nuku’alofa, Tonga –  The tiny kingdom in the South Pacific welcomes the New Year with lots of community singing and dancing.
  2. Auckland, New Zealand –  New Zealanders hold large street parties and fireworks display at its tallest building – the Sky Tower in Auckland.
  3. Honiara, Solomon Islands – The people in this tropical islands will welcome the New Year by relaxing in the beach and watch the sun set on 2011.
  4. Sydney, Australia –  The spectacular midnight fireworks show at Sydney Harbor Bridge has been ruling and setting the standards for the rest of the world.
  5. Tokyo, Japan – In Japan, New Years eve is welcomed with the 108 bell tolls from Buddhist temples to free mankind of the 108 sins.
  6. Beijing, China – The people in China celebrate the Gregorian New Year with concerts and fireworks display in the capital city.

What are the different dates of New Year Celebrations?

Different countries have their own ways of welcoming the New Year in accordance to their time-honored customs and beliefs.  Here are some interesting facts about different dates of celebrating New Year.

1.   Chinese New Year. Falls between January 20 and February 20, Chinese New Year is the most important festivity in China. They use a different calendar based on the moon’s lunar cycles which is slightly off compared to our Gregorian calendar. Months may not always have the same length each year which is why Chinese New Year doesn’t have a fixed date.

2.   Jewish New Year. Falls somewhere between September 6 and October 5 and based on the Jewish calendar. Known as Rosh Hashanah (“Head of the Year”), the Jewish New Year bears religious significance for the Jewish people. Since they don’t start and end a day as we do, their celebration begins at sunset and ends at sunset the next day.

3.   Hindu New Year. Normally occurs on April 13 or 14 when the Sun is said to enter Aries according to the Hindu calendar. Their calendar is based on the study of celestial bodies which includes the constellations of the zodiac. They also start and end the day quite differently. Hindu New Year starts at sunrise and ends at sunrise the next day.

4.   Iranian  New Year. Known as Norwuz or “New Day” in the Persian language, it marks the start of another year in Iranian calendar, usually falling on March 21 during the vernal equinox when the Sun is said to cross the celestial equator. This has been the practice of many eastern continents for over 3,000 years.

5.   Korean New Year. The most interesting about Koreans is that they celebrate both the Korean New Year called “Seollal” and New Year’s Day on the 1st of January. Seollal usually falls in the months of January and February during the second new moon following the winter solstice.

6.   Ethiopian New Year. Based on ancient Ethiopian calendar, the “Enqutatash” or New Year falls on either September 11 or 12. It marks the end of summer where flowers start to flourish all over the country.

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Fireworks Display in NYE 2011

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Order of NYE celebration by country

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