Did you know that more people celebrate New Year throughout the world than any other holiday? But, of course, that does not mean that we all celebrate in the same way.
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How I celebrate the New Year – watching the NYC countdown on television, kissing in the middle of the night, cheering champagne, and fireworks – may be relatively common in the United States. But New Year’s habits vary greatly in different cultures throughout the world.
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Each country seems to have a unique New Year celebration, with different habits to ensure health, wealth, happiness, and good fortune in the coming year.
As we learn more about various New Year celebrations around the world, we might find strange cultural twists that feel foreign to us. But the unique variations in how people celebrate this New Year are part of what makes exploring the world so great.
So let’s look at some of the more interesting New Year traditions around the world, and see how people will call in 2019. Who knows? Maybe we can find something fun along the way to attend our own New Year celebrations.
I know many of us can’t wait to bid 2019 good riddance. So get ready, because New Year’s Day is coming soon!
This house plays an important role in the traditions of many New Year countries, which can involve everything from intensive cleaning sessions to inviting special guests. Regardless of how it is done, home is where many people celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
England: For good luck in the new year, the British believe that the first guest who enters through the front door must be a black-headed young man carrying gifts such as bread (to be full), salt (to get rich) and coal (to stay warm).
Japan: Oshogatsu is celebrated with the family, who clean and decorate the whole house together. Then natural decorations such as pine branches, plum flowers and bamboo play a special role in preparing for the New Year celebration.
Denmark: As a sign of friendship, people keep their old plates to smash them at each other’s front door. Residents will let these broken plates pile up to show who has the most friends.
China: To symbolize happiness and good luck in the New Year, Chinese celebrities painted their front doors in red. In general, red is New Year’s Eve in China, with red money packages for children, red rackets for married couples, and red lanterns.
Puerto Rico: In addition to cleaning their homes like the Japanese do, Puerto Ricans also clean everything – cars, gardens and even the streets. They also have the practice of throwing buckets of water out the window to get rid of bad juju last year.
South Africa: Some South Africans – especially those around Hillbrow in Johannesburg – are taking the cleaning house for the new year to an entirely new level. Tossing old furniture and equipment (think of the fridge!) From the windows of tall buildings, somehow helped make the new year brighter. There are actually very serious health hazards there!