In most parts of the world, January 1 marks the beginning of a new calendar year. Though customs and celebrations may vary by religion, personal desires, and country, everyone who observes it look forward to a year full of possibility and new opportunities. Take a look at how different countries ring in the New Year!
United States and Canada
For these two countries, celebrations begin promptly on New Year’s Eve. As soon as the clock strikes 12, the New Year is welcomed with fireworks, cheers, bells, and horn: anything that will make noise! New York City, for example, is well known for its countdown in Times Square, which often features celebrity performances, bright lights, and visitors from all over.
Toronto does it similarly, with late-night parties, concerts, and sporting events. They even offer free public transit service during peak party times! Both US and Canadian residents like to welcome the New Year by setting goals and making resolutions to improve themselves.
In China, there are two ways to celebrate the New Year. The first is by observing it on January 1, the same as the US and Canada. Traditionally, though, the Chinese New Year is based on a lunar calendar so it would fall anywhere between January 21 and February 20, well after January 1.
Most people celebrate both. As far as festivities go, parades with paper lanterns, dragons made of silk, and fireworks take center stage. According to Chinese legend, the dragon spends most of its time in hibernation, so the fireworks are intended to keep the dragon awake.
In Jewish tradition, the new year begins with Rosh Hashanah, which is the first day of the New Year. It’s a celebration that lasts ten days and is held in either September or October, depending on the Hebrew calendar.
It ends with Yom Kippur, which Jews regard as the Day of Atonement. Lavish parties and celebrations aren’t really the focus here, but more of a personal reflection on how one may better oneself in the coming year.
Here are some New Year’s observances from other countries and cultures:
- Vietnam celebrates the New Year in February.
- In Iran, the holiday is observed on March 21.
- Islamic cultures often celebrate the tenth day of the month of Muharram.
- Russian Orthodox believers use the Julian calendar and celebrate on January 14.
- Buddhist celebrations occur from April 13 through the 15.
If you’re resolving to be healthier this New Year, be sure to take care of your smile at our office. As always, our team wishes you a healthy, happy New Year!