Each country has its customs and traditions of celebration of the New Year. For example, not everywhere it is welcomed from December 31 to January 1. In some countries the date of the New Year is “floating” and is designated by the government.
With what else the New Year in other countries differs? ORIENT invites to make a journey to the planet, to get more closely acquainted with original traditions of celebration of the New Year.
Different peoples have their Fathers Frost – Santa Claus, Sacred Vasily, Babbo Natale, Daidaín na Nollaig, wizards Gaspar, Baltasar and others. All of them bring gifts, but everyone does it on his own way. The Russian Father Frost puts a gift under a fur-tree, Englishmen and Irish find gifts in a sock, and Mexicans – in a boot. New Year’s gifts fall down from the chimney in France, and a balcony – in Spain. In Sweden Father Frost encloses gifts in an oven, and in Germany leaves on a window sill.
Scarlet colour is a symbol of the New Year in Italy. Therefore, it has become customary for them to wear something red in the festive night. One of the popular New Year’s traditions in Italy is to throw out the old, household utensils which have served enough through the window.
In Greece on the New Year’s Eve people visit their people with big and small stones. Having come as guest, Greeks leave stones at the threshold of the house wishing the wealth and success.
In Panama there is a tradition for the New Year at midnight to burn a stuffed animal symbolising failure, angrily and troubles. Besides, under peal of bells, inhabitants of the country different subjects start to create noise, trying to drive away evil ghosts.
In Israel the New Year usually is necessary for the period from the middle of September prior to the beginning of October. Jews believe that at this time in heavens who and how will live all the next year is decided. On the eve of the holiday Israelis pray and eat sweet food so that the year would be “sweet”.
The butts with tar set fire roll along the street in Scotland when they see off old and welcome the New Year. And still there is a sign that throughout all year the family will be accompanied by good luck if the first the dark-haired man enters into the door.
Denmark, of course, surprises with unusual traditions such as to jump in the New Year from a chair or to throw at a neighbour’s door the broken ware. It is considered that having jumped from a chair, inhabitants drive away evil ghosts and jump into January and the more broken plates on the threshold – , the more successful will be the year.
For the New Year Spaniards instead of a fur-tree dress up a Christmas flower – a poinsettia at which put their gifts. At midnight it is customary for them to walk on the square. In Spain, as well as in Cuba, under a ring of a chiming clock they eat 12 grapes. And, everyone should eat one grape for one blow, having made a wish.
In many states of Africa the New Year is marked on January 1. Here there is a tradition to scatter on streets green nuts. It is considered that the one, who will find such nut, will be necessarily happy this year.
Central Asia, certainly, has had luck with this holiday. The New Year in these countries is marked twice a year. It is first marked with the whole world at the night from December 31 to January 1t and the second – on March 21 on Novruz Bayram.
By tradition the Turkmen people prepare for the New Year almost for a month forward: choose gifts, suits and ornaments, and in regions and cities in full swing there is a preparation for celebrating, installing and dress up fur-trees and others. The main characters of this holiday are Turkmen Father Frost – Ayaz baba – and the Snow Maiden – Garpamyk who with impatience are waited by children.
In Turkmenistan it has become a tradition to gather in the family circle at a festive table – dastarkhan – at a fur-tree, meeting the New Year as a symbol of all new: new hopes and the fulfilment, new meetings and luck, new impressions and the ideas, new days of life which is the greatest miracle in the world.