New Year’s is special for all cultures around the world, the date may differ, but the emphasis on celebrating doesn’t. Sometimes going on for days, sometimes filled with feasts and gift giving, these are some of our favorite New Year’s celebrations from around the world.
新年快乐！ Xin Nian Kuaile!
Chinese New Year is famous around the world for its endless feasts, fireworks and money giving. Each year around either January or February (depending on the lunar calendar) masses of people head to their home villages to spend time with their family and eat until they can’t move. Children are given red envelopes (or gold if they are in Hong Kong) filled with cash known as “hong bao” and red underwear is encouraged for good luck.
Fireworks are a constant feature of any Chinese cities skyline at this time, with even big metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai not spared from the torrential (and seemingly endless) roar of explosive colour!
Make your dream trip to China come true! YPT offer a variety of trips throughout this vast country.
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с новым годом! S Novym godom!
Easily one of the most important celebrations in Russia, far more special than Christmas. Because Russian Christmas is on the 7th of January, many traditions western countries have for Christmas are done so on New Year’s for Russians. The tree is called a New Year’s tree, presents are given and a big meal is eaten. Huge parties take place all over Russia, with mass fireworks displays taking place in most cities. If it’s an iconic new year’s you’re looking for then fireworks in Red Square can’t really be beaten!
Russians also celebrate old new year, which takes place during mid-January. This is a relic left over from when they still used the Gregorian calendar. This day is still celebrated as well but is much more relaxed when compared with December 31st.
YPT head into Russia every year on our epic Eurasian Adventure Tour.
Join us next year!
Rikreay chnam thmei!
Cambodian New year is different again, taking place on April 13th or 14th and lasting for three days. This time represents the end of the harvesting season, where farmers can enjoy a huge feast before the rainy season starts. Each day has a different ceremonial tradition.
Day one involves going to the temple and burning incense sticks and candles to show thanks for Buddha’s teachings. Day two is for giving to those less fortunate than themselves and day three is to show respect to your elders, which usually involves giving them a special kind of perfume bath.
Of course, throughout this three-day period food is involved! Apart from the endless supply of traditional Cambodian foods, people eat a special treat called “Kralan” which is a sticky rice cake mixed with beans and coconut and roasted inside a bamboo leaf.
Join YPT for a Cambodian adventure here.
نوروز مبارک, Nowruz Mubarak
“Nowruz” otherwise known as Iranian New Year is one of the best celebrations out there! It can last over two weeks in total and has some really interesting traditions. One of such traditions is setting a “haft seen” table, which is a table with seven items starting with the word seen in the Persian language. These items are to represent rebirth, health, and vitality and are placed somewhere central and important in the house.
Food is central to Persian culture and therefore central to Nowruz. The main dish served is called “Sabzi polo ba mahi” and is a mix of rice with spices served with a grilled fish. Sweets will also be plenty throughout people’s houses, as you are expected to visit and visit again your friends and relatives over this period.
During this time people throw big parties, though the largest is saved for the 13th day when people will head outside and have large picnics and go crazy to celebrate the chaos and avoid the bad luck associated with the number 13. On this last day the ‘haft seen’ table is thrown away into running water to exorcise the bad spirits.
YPT may not head over there for New Year’s but click here for more information on a variety of tours to Iran – including the Iran Independence Day Tour.
새해 복 많이 받으십시요 – Saehae bok manhi badeushishiyo!
Now when New Year’s overseas comes to mind, few people even consider heading to North Korea. If they did, however, they would find one of the best fireworks displays in the world, and a chance to see the people of Pyongyang really let their hair down.
Braving the cold and the snowy weather, Korean people head to Kim Il Sung Square, soju bottle in-hand to go to see the fireworks and celebrate. Koreans will usually have a big meal as well and see family and friends, celebrating with them into the night!
This isn’t just for Koreans though and foreign visitors are very welcome to come and experience New Year’s in Pyongyang, something that is rarely done!
Come and join Young Pioneers this New Year’s eve and experience North Korea with all the bells and whistles a firework-filled celebration.