Year's Customs Worldwide
people celebrate this holiday around the world?
In all cities
in Brazil, we have a big party on New Year's Eve, especially
in Rio de Janeiro where people go to the beaches to watch
fireworks. We usually wear white clothes in order to have
good luck during the new year. This party used to be a kind
of religious party, but today it has become a big show for
tourists and citizens. The party's preparation begins on the
morning of the 31st, and the fireworks start at midnight.
It lasts around thirty minutes, and everybody makes wishes
for the new year: money, love, health. Normally we host more
than two million people.
In Brazil, most New Year's Eve customs are related to good
luck or fortune. Most people wear white clothes on New Year's
Eve to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow.
If they are in a beach city, after midnight, people go to
the beach, jump seven waves and throw flowers in the sea while
making a wish. This will bring them good luck and fortune.
They say that the goddess who protects the sea will make their
wishes come true. Because of that, some people also light
candles in the sand on the beach. I think this custom came
from the mix of the African and Indian cultures that developed
in Brazil and have spread from coast to coast.
Pauperio ...in China?
In China, New
Year's Eve is a time for...
On New Year's
Eve, all family members get together and just stay home to
prepare food. Even though some of the work in different cities,
they will be home on time.
At the dinner,
we have lots of foods such as dumplings, chicken, and fish
which all have meanings of good luck. After dinner, we all
go out to a flower show. We can buy different flowers and
some New Year's stuff. Then we go back home and chat together.
In the meantime, we have some snacks. No one will leave until
after midnight. Officially, we have nine days for holidays
during New Year.
The Chinese New Year's holiday which is celebrated in February,
is the longest and most crowded holiday in my country. During
this time, people celebrate the arrival of the New Year, pray
for a new start of their life in the following spring, and
make many new wishes and plans.
don't really understand the meaning of New Year's, but it
is very exciting for them, and they are happy with all the
gifts and programs such as dancing, movies, eating, partying,
and talking over old times. Adults visit each other, and usually
the holiday will last for two weeks.
that when I was a child, I used to look forward to the New
Year, but year by year, I gradually lost interest. Now spectacular
shows on TV last all day long. Most of the programs are parties
from each province. People sing, dance and play dramas. Today,
more and more Chinese would rather spend their time traveling
during the holiday. Furthermore, a lot of couples have their
weddings during the New Year's holiday.
Ma ...in Colombia?
Burning "Mr. Old Year" is a New Year's tradition
in some cities of Colombia. It requires the participation
of the entire family. It is a lot of fun; they fabricate a
big stuffed male doll that represents the old year. Then they
stuff the doll with different materials. Sometimes they put
some little fireworks in it to make it more exciting at the
time they burn it. Also, they put things inside that they
don't want anymore, objects that can bring sadness or bad
memories. These things will burn with the old year, meaning
that they want to forget all the bad things that happened
during the past year. They dress the man with old clothes
from each member of the family. Then, on New Year's Eve at
midnight, they set the doll on fire. This symbolizes burning
the past and getting ready to start a happy New Year without
bad memories of the past.
Leverett ...in Korea?
My grandmother always says not to sleep on New Year's Eve.
If you sleep, your eyebrows will turn white. I don't know
where these words come from. Of course, it doesn't happen.
Every New Year's Eve we can watch a striking-a-bell ceremony
on TV. The bell is struck 33 times. This is in memory of 33
fighters who died for the restoration of Korea. On New Year's
Day a lot of people go to the sea to watch the sunrise. The
beaches of eastern Korea are filled with crowds of people.
On seeing the sunrise, people make their new wishes.
Seong Ah Kim
We call New Year's Day Sul-nal. We don't have a real New Year's
day on January 1st. We use the lunar calendar, and it shows
the days a little differently, just as February can be different,
depending on the year. We usually wear Han-Boks which are
Korean traditional clothes. We have ancestor memorial sites
on the first day in the morning. In order to have this, many
relatives come together. After the rites, we eat Dduk-gook
which is made of rice cake and is a kind of soup. Also, whenever
we meet our elders, we perform a New Year's bow. Some older
people give New Year's gifts. New Year's day is the biggest
holiday in Korea, so we usually spend time with the family
and relatives. There are many traditional games on New Year's
Day, such as yut, seesaw (teeter). The game of yut consists
of 4 sticks and a board. There are 3-4 teams, and each team
has 3 to 4 members, so many people can play this game.
On New Year's day, we traditionally wear Korean traditional
clothes called "Hanbock." However, nowadays some
people wear western clothes. In the morning, younger generations
bow to older generations. For example, children bow to their
parents, uncles, aunts, and grandparents; and parents bow
to their parents. After bowing, older people give brand new
money to the children. This means good luck and good wishes.
We have special food for this day. It is a kind of soup made
of rice cake. All family members eat together and give each
other good blessings. There are some traditional games for
New Year's Day. I think it is just for family union and for
fun. It is winter on those days, so children make a kite and
play with them. We also wear special pockets in which we think
we can put blessings, but nowadays this custom is disappearing.
Lee (Lynn) ...in Mexico?
many people usually gather with their relatives and friends
to celebrate the new year. On New Year's Eve, we have some
special customs. For example, we turn on the TV and wait to
see or hear the bell ringing twelve times. Each time the bell
rings, we eat one grape and make a wish. Then we hug each
other and wish each other a Happy New Year. Some people, especially
women, wear red underwear meaning you will find love in the
next year. There are also people who take out their suitcases
and walk around the block, meaning they wish they could travel
next year. There's also a custom on January 6th to eat a special
cake with a hole in it and a small toy inside. The person
who gets the piece with this tiny kid is supposed to make
a special food on February 5th.