Thursday, December 31, 2009

THE NEW YEAR AROUND THE WORLD



How New Year is said around the world

Arabic: Kul 'aam u antum salimoun
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo means "Good Parties and Happy New Year"
Chinese: Chu Shen Tan
Czechoslavakia: Scastny Novy Rok
Dutch: Gullukkig Niuw Jaar
Finnish: Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French: Bonne Annee
German: Prosit Neujahr
Greek: Eftecheezmaenos o Kaenooryos hronos
Hebrew: L'Shannah Tovah Tikatevu
Hindi: Niya Saa Moobaarak
Irish (Gaelic): Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian: Buon Capodanno
Khmer: Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Laotian: Sabai dee pee mai
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo
Russian: S Novim Godom
Serbo-Croatian: Scecna nova godina
Spanish: Feliz Ano Neuvo
Prospero Ano Nuevo
Turkish: Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Vietnamese: Cung-Chuc Tan-Xuan

From: www.fathertimes.net/hownewyearissaidaroundtheworld.htm


Global Good Luck Traditions


With New Year's upon us, here's a look at some of the good luck rituals from around the world. They are believed to bring good fortune and prosperity in the coming year.


GREECE

January 1st is an important date in Greece because it is not only the first day of the New Year but it is also St. Basil's Day. St Basil was one the forefathers of the Greek Orthodox Church.

He is remembered for his kindness and generosity to the poor. He is thought to have died on this date so this is how they honor him.

A special New Year's bread is baked with a coin buried in the dough. The first slice is for the Christ child; the second for the father of the household and the third slice is for the house. If the third slice holds the coin, spring will come early that year.


AUSTRIA

The suckling pig is the symbol for good luck for the new year. It's served on a table decorated with tiny edible pigs. Dessert often consists of green peppermint ice cream in the shape of a four-leaf clover.


BELGIUM

In Belgium New Year's Eve is called Sint Sylvester Vooranvond or Saint Sylvester Eve. The réveillon or New Year's Eve family parties are thrown. At midnight everyone kisses, exchanges good luck greetings, and drinks toasts to absent relatives and friends.

The cities, cafés, and restaurants are crowded with people who bid farewell to the Old Year. New Year's Day is called Nieuwjaarsdag at this time of the year the children save money to buy decorated paper for writing holiday greetings to parents and god parents.


BENGALI

In Bengali they celebrate New Year on the 13th or 14th of April, which is the first day of the month that they call Baisakh. They clean and decorate their houses in preparation for the New Year.

They use flour to paint patterns on the ground out the front of their houses, in the middle of the design they place an earthenware pot, decorated with a red and white swastika which is a religious symbol, and filled with holy water and vermilion.

Also inside the pot they place a mango tree branch, which must consist of five twigs and a number of leaves. The pot symbolizes good fortune for the family.


BRAZIL

In Brazil the lentil is believed to signify wealth, so on the first day of the New Year they serve lentil soup or lentils and rice. In Brazil on New Year's Eve priestesses of the local macumba voodoo cult dress in blue skirts and white blouses for a ceremony dedicated to the goddess of water, Yemanja.

A sacrificial boat laden with flowers, candles and jewelery is pushed out to sea from Brazil's famous Ipenama beach in Rio de Janeiro.


CHINA

The Chinese New Year "Yuan Tan" takes place between January 21 and February 20. The exact date is fixed by the lunar calendar, in which a new moon marks the beginning of each new month.

For the Chinese New Year, every front door is adorned with a fresh coat of red paint, red being a symbol of good luck and happiness. Although the whole family prepares a feast for the New Year, all knives are put away for 24 hours to keep anyone from cutting themselves, which is thought to cut the family's good luck for the next year.


EGYPT

In Egypt the New Year is a public holiday and has a very festive atmosphere. Although they know in advance when the New Year begins they still observe the custom of the new crescent moon must be seen before the official announcement is made.

The sighting is carried out at the Muhammad Ali mosque which is at the top of the hill in Cairo. The message is then passed on to the religious leader known as the Grand Mufti and he proclaims the New Year.

The men who have been waiting outside the mosque wish each other a happy New Year by saying "Kol Sana We Enta Tayeb!"


ENGLAND

The British place their fortunes for the coming year in the hands of their first guest. They believe the first visitor of each year should be male and bearing gifts. Traditional gifts are coal for the fire, a loaf for the table and a drink for the master.

For good luck, the guest should enter through the front door and leave through the back. Guests who are empty-handed or unwanted are not allowed to enter first.


GERMANY

In Germany people would drop molten lead into cold water and try to tell the future from the shape it made. A heart or ring shape meant a wedding, a ship a journey, and a pig plenty of food in the year ahead.

People also would leave a bit of every food eaten on New Year's Eve on their plate until after Midnight as a way of ensuring a well-stocked larder. Carp was included as it was thought to bring wealth.


VIETNAM

The more popular name for the Vietnamese New Year is Tet, where as the formal name is Nguyen-dan. Tet is a very important festival because it provides one of the few breaks in the agricultural year, as it falls between the harvesting of the crops and the sowing of the new crops.

The Vietnamese prepare well in advance for the New Year by cleaning their houses, polishing their copper and silverware and paying off all their debts.


WALES

At the first toll of midnight, the back door is opened and then shut to release the old year and lock out all of its bad luck. Then at the twelfth stroke of the clock, the front door is opened and the New Year is welcomed with all of its luck.


SPAIN

When the clock strikes midnight they eat 12 grapes one with every toll to bring good luck for the next 12 months of the New Year. Sometimes the grapes are washed down with wine. Theater productions and movies are interrupted to carry out this custom.

Find the whole list of countries here.


See also the World's Strangest New Year Traditions Slideshow which combines pictures of various traditions with explanations and descriptions.

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