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Happy New Year!
Xin Nian Kuai Le! Feliz Año Nuevo! Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Did you know that at almost any time of the year, somewhere in the world there’s a New Year’s celebration going on? In every season, festivities are underway and people young and old revel in the maxim out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new while looking forward to the promise of the months ahead. As unique as many nations’ New Year’s celebrations are, they’re also filled with fascinating similarities. Grab your dancing shoes and a handful of confetti and join us as we party hop across the globe.
Fireworks around the globe!
Click here to download a mini-poster version of the panorama image shown above.
Gregorian New Year
The ball drops. Glasses clink. People kiss. It is 12 midnight on January 1st on the Gregorian Calendar, which means that in most of the world’s countries, it’s a brand-spanking-new year. Some new year’s traditions are ubiquitous: fireworks, decadent food & drinks, reveling with friends & family until the wee hours. Though it was established by a 16th century pope, today the Gregorian New Year is a uniquely secular holiday—unlike other new year’s celebrations, it is completely, utterly about the passage of time, turning over a new leaf, beginning anew.
Lunar New Year
Gong Xi Fa Cai: It’s the year of the dragon! While the Gregorian calendar is the globally accepted civic calendar, China and many Asian countries calibrate the new year according to the lunar model, in which a dozen zodiac animals represent a 12-year cycle. The lunar new year falls between late January and late February on the Gregorian calendar and marks the coming of spring. The most important holiday of the year, festivities include parades, feasts, honoring of ancestors, cleaning houses & graves, visiting friends & family, and garnering new year’s blessings—all of which can last for up to two weeks! Many traditions and superstitions surround the celebrations, all focused on shooing away the old, bad luck and ushering in prosperity and good fortune for the new year.
Solar New Year
Spring into a new year. For many cultures, the budding of new life from the earth literally brings a new year on the calendar. Across the many states of India, and countries of the Far and Middle East, among others, rich and exciting new years celebrations unfold along with nature’s bright green leaves and golden shoots. Marking the new year in the season of rebirth means water is often included in the revelry-by the drop or the bucketful…
Hebrew, Julian, Islamic & Coptic Calendars
L’Shana Tova: Wishing you a sweet new year. For some cultures, the new year coincides with the end of the growing season. Depending on the climate, this brings monsoons or harvest moons, deep chill or intense heat. These autumn observances tend to be more reflective, rather than simply celebratory.