Many of us celebrate the new year when the 1st of January every year but this is not the only new year that is celebrated around the world. Different religions and faiths around the world celebrate New Year at different times of the year, and each of those celebrations comes with different customs and traditions. Here are some of the major New Year celebrations around the world.
The Gregorian New Year (January 1st)
This is the most widely recognized and celebrated New Year around the world. It is based on the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar used by most countries. It is a time for celebration, reflection and making resolutions for the coming year. People usually celebrate with fireworks, parties, and gatherings with friends and family.
The Islamic New Year ( Hijri New Year, date varies)
To Muslims it is known to as Maal Hijra.The Islamic New Year marks the start of the Islamic lunar calendar. For the Muslims, Muharram is the second most holy month of the Islamic year. To mark Muharram, Muslims will recite Koranic verses and hold special prayers and sermons at public halls and mosques.
The Islamic new year has different names. It is called Awal Muharram or Hijri New Year. The date symbolises two important events in the Islamic year. Awal means beginning in English and Muharram is the name of the first month in the Muslim calendar. It commemorates the historic journey from Mecca to Medina by Mohammed. The Islamic calendar is based the revolutions of the Moon rather than the sun. Thus, it is only 354 days long. It is a time for fasting, prayer and charity. People usually fast during the day, attend special prayers and services, and give to the poor.
Chinese New Year (Date varies between January and February)
It is also known as the Spring Festival, it is the most important traditional festival in China. It is celebrated over 15 days and is a time for family reunions, gift-giving, and traditional customs such as dragon and lion dances. People usually prepare by cleaning their houses, buying new clothes and preparing traditional foods.
This marks the start of the new year in the Ethiopian calendar. Ethiopia does not follow the Gregorian calendar which is 12 months but they use a 13 month calendar which is what is used in many Eastern Orthodox churches. It is behind the western calendar by 7 years and eight months. The Ethiopian New Year is celebrated with traditional music, dance, and the exchange of gifts. Travel To Ethiopia – A Land Of Culture, History And Beauty
This is the New Year according to the Julian calendar which is still used by some Eastern Orthodox churches. Orthodox New Year is annually celebrated on January 14. The Orthodox New Year is known as the Old New Year and is marked as January 1 in the Julian calendar, which was used before the Gregorian calendar. People usually celebrate with church services, fireworks, a festive dinner, music, dancing and traditional foods. It is a time for families to spend time together but also involves serious meditation about new years resolutions. Unlike other places around the world the Orthodox New Year is not a public holiday.
The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah, September or October)
This New Year marks the beginning of the Jewish calendar and is celebrated over two days. Rosh Hashanah means head of the year. It is a time for repentance, prayer and the blowing of the shofar (a trumpet made of a ram’s horn). People usually participate in synagogue services, listen to the shofar being blown, and have a special meal with family and friends.
The Persian New Year (Nowruz, March 20th or 21st)
This is the most important holiday in Iran and other countries with significant Persian populations. People usually prepare by cleaning their houses, buying new clothes, and preparing traditional foods. They also visit with family and friends, and participate in outdoor celebrations, such as the Haft-Seen table setting ceremony, and jumping over bonfires.
Different New Year celebrations around the world are based on different calendars, and each one has its own unique customs and traditions. People usually celebrate by participating in religious ceremonies, gathering with family and friends, exchanging gifts and preparing traditional foods.