How People in Different Countries Greet the New Year
How People in Different Countries Greet the New Year
  • Reporter Yun Seok-chan
  • 승인 2016.01.01 23:56
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In Korea, people associate rice cake soup and cash with the New Year. They believe that eating a bowl of rice cake soup is equivalent to growing a year older. Also, at every beginning of the New Year, there is a bell ringing ceremony at Bosingak, Seoul. As the year 2015 is getting close to going out, and the New Year is coming, The Postech Times wants to share information about how people in different countries greet the New Year.
Neighboring Asian countries like Japan and China share some similarities in the way people celebrate the New Year. In Japan, people also eat food that is quite similar to Korean rice cake soup, with its soup usually blended by soy sauce. Likewise, they have the tradition of giving cash, but they do it without taking New Year’s bows as Koreans do. Furthermore, Japanese people believe that the god in charge of rice visits on the first day of the year, so they decorate their front doors with ornaments made of bamboo or palm trees. In China, people have special meals on New Year’s Eve. Individuals are usually given a week off around this time and they celebrate the New Year’s coming with fireworks day and night. People in Northern China eat dumplings called jiaozi, which are quite similar to Korean dumplings. What is special about the jiaozi is that they include coins in the filling and the person who bites the jiaozi with a coin is believed to be financially lucky. Chinese people share the cash gift culture as well, and they do it with a red envelope since red is considered the best color in China.
For Northeastern African Islamic countries that were once colonized by Great Britain, the New Year signifies independence from the Great Britain. People gather around the Nile and throw mud and eggs at each other, as their way of greeting the New Year with clean minds and bodies. In Madagascar, eating meat becomes a taboo for 7 days before New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve they eat poultry.
In Brazil, there is a traditional New Year celebration called 'Reveilion'. Brazilians conduct a ritual called 'Macumba' in which people dress themselves with white clothing and throw flowers on the sea wishing for New Year’s luck to the goddess of the sea. In Paraguay, there is a practice of eating foods cooked without fire for 5 days before the New Year starts. The tradition goes back roughly 400 years when Paraguay was at war against Spain for independence. 5 days before the New Year, the Paraguayan military ran out of supplies, so they had to struggle for 5 days until reinforcements came to help and defeat the Spanish army.
The United States holds a large scale ceremony in Times Square, Manhattan. First, there are performances by some of the hottest celebrities and artists of the year. Then they are ensued by the event named 'New Year Ball Drop', which commences as the countdown clock hits exactly 12:00AM of Jan. 1. A massive ball decorated with crystals and LEDs falls from the top of the one Times Square building, promulgating the beginning of the New Year.


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