Did you know that Auckland, New Zealand, is the first city to celebrate the New Year and Honolulu, Hawaii is the last to celebrate it? Around the world, New Year festivities begin on 31st December, New Year’s Eve. As the clock strikes midnight, everyone bids adieu to the old year and greet each other a ‘Happy New year’. The same date but different festivities in various countries make the New Year the most celebrated holiday. Let’s take a look at the different festivities followed by people around the world:
Spanish people believe that eating twelve grapes, at midnight of the New Year, brings good luck. Thus, at every stroke of the clock, at midnight on New Year, they pop in a grape.
2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Copacabana beach is famous for hosting the largest New Year celebrations worldwide! Millions of people from around the world come here to attend the huge party. Traditionally, the local Rio public honors the beach by throwing white flowers into the sea. People also dress up in white as a good luck charm. Fireworks start on New Year’s Eve and continue till the next day.
3. United States
Times Square in New York is a famous place where everyone gathers on New Year’s eve. The tradition is to drop the huge New Year’s eve ball from the Times Square flag pole when it is just 1 minute to midnight. When the ball drops, it releases thousands of confetti, messages on colored paper. These messages have been left by the local public days before the New Year celebrations.
People from Southern United States believe in eating black eyed peas and turnip greens on New Year. The peas represent coins and the turnip greens represent dollars. They believe that by doing this, the New Year will bring them good money.
4. Sydney, Australia
The world’s largest firework show on New Year’s is held here. Though the show lasts only for 12 minutes, starting at the stroke of midnight, the beautiful extravaganza attracts people to be a part of this celebration from all over the world.
People here want the new year to bring in more money and prosperity. Thus, they dress up in polka dotted clothes and gather in streets and localities, throwing coins at midnight or by keeping coins in pots and shaking them in their own homes.
For the Greeks January 1st is also Saint Basil’s Day, one of their forefathers. It is the day for gift giving, telling stories and leaving presents at midnight in children’s shoes. Every Greek family bakes a cake on this day which has a silver or gold coin hidden inside. The cake slices are passed to everyone and whoever gets the coin is believed to have a lucky year ahead.
People in Japan, in the evening of December 31st, eat a bowl of a special type of noodles called ‘toshikoshisoba.’ While eating they listen to the sound of Buddhist temple bells which are rung 108 times at the midnight hour of New year and is supposed to remove all evils and sins.
To read more interesting festivals for kids, click HERE