Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the end of an old year and the start of a new one for at least four thousand years. Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on the 31st of December, the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January.
We can’t talk about the new year without first touching its eve. The importance of the church bells ringing, horns beeping, whistles blowing, beautiful firework displays. Also, the fascinating sound of children’s laughter and the general feel of happiness cannot be stressed enough.
Talking about celebrations, different cultures around the world celebrate New year in different ways and like almost everywhere in the world, new year celebrations begin on New year’s eve in Nigeria as well.
Here, people host and attend New Year parties at home or celebrate in restaurants, bars, or on the street, counting down to the end of the year. while some wishes friends. family and acquaintance a happy new year with champagne and other sparkling beverages as the clock strike twelve.
In Nigeria, most people celebrate the earliest minutes of the New Year with different fireworks, music, dance, and lots more.
In the UK, the government of all cities celebrates the coming of the new year by putting on public firework displays of which London’s happens to be the most grand where thousands of people gather at the bank of the River Thames to watch in awe the 12 minutes display over the London eye.
And talking about grand celebrations, you certainly don’t want to miss the United Arab Emirates New Year celebration. A celebration of colors; Known for its dazzling style, revolutionary architecture, and oriental heritage.
Though historically not a Christian state and religiously follows the lunar calendar to date, UAE is also a culturally rich state that accommodates everyone from every known hole and crevice in the world. The countdown to the new year is biggest at the Burj Khalifa; the tallest tower in the world. Year in year out they break a record with their smashing and brilliant displays which takes about 30 minutes in total.
However, the new year does not only happen in the western world, nor is it limited to the Gregorian calendar. There are ancient cultures with a stronger claim to being the foremost practitioners of the new year celebrations.
Here are a few other New Year Celebrations:
This involves putting up decorations, eating reunion dinner with family on new year’s eve, setting up firecrackers and fireworks, and giving out red envelopes and other gifts. It’s commonly celebrated in China, Chinatown, and other Asian countries that begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar, 15 days later. Celebrations include dancing behind a silk dragon also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it in East Asian culture.
They are celebrated sometime in September or October. The Jews have a deep-rooted belief that God opens the book of life for ten (10) days. The first day being on the Rosh Hashanah, and the last being on Yom Kippur. In those ten (10) days, people tend to walk around with forgiveness in their hearts and festivities in the air. During Rosh Hashanah, Jewish people ask God for forgiveness for their wrongdoings of the previous year while at the same time reminding themselves not to make the same mistake in the following year. So in a way, it is a celebration for self-reflection.
It is a special three-day festival between April, 13th, and April, 15th in Thailand. According to Buddhist scripture, it originated from the death of Kapila. The Songkran celebration is rich with symbolic traditions.
On this particular occasion, performing water pouring on Buddha statues including the young and older adults is a traditional ritual on this holiday. It represents purification and the washing away of one’s sins and bad luck. As a festival of unity, people who have moved away usually return home to their loved ones and elders.
Ultimately, how you choose to celebrate and enjoy your New Year may differ from your neighbor. However, whatever your choice of New Year celebration is today, do have a good one!