топик New Year’s Celebration

For many years in history, the New Year was celebrated in mid-March rather than on the first of January. The early Roman calendar only had ten months, with March as the first. If you look at the names of the months, you will see this to be true. The word September stems from the Latin word seven, as it was once the seventh month in the calendar. Similarly, “Octo” means eight, “Novem” means nine, and “Decem” means ten. January and February were added around 700 BC, bringing the total number of months in the calendar up to twelve. The decision to increase the number of months reversed the logic of naming some of the last few months by their numerical placement. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar created a solar-based calendar.

After reforming the Roman calendar, the political leader stated that the New Year would officially start on January 1st. January was named after Janus, the Roman God of gates and doors. The new calendar was not accepted by many, especially Christians who chose various times such as Dec 25th or March 1st to celebrate their new year. Many European countries adopted January 1st as the official New Year in the 1500s, but it wasn’t until the mid 1700s when Britain and its colonies accepted the date. Since then, numerous countries outside of Europe have also adopted January 1st as the start of a new year, making it an international holiday celebrated by millions.

Despite sharing a common date, countries around the world celebrate the New Year in a multitude of ways. The foods and traditions that characterize New Year’s celebrations have as much to do with the culture and beliefs of a nation as they do with the season that January 1st falls in. For example, Australia’s New Year’s Eve parties usually take place on the beach with picnics and BBQs, whereas on the other side of the world many New Year’s Eve celebrations take place in frigid outdoor ceremonies where people brave the cold and huddle to keep warm. Sydney is the first major city to ring in the New Year each January. The city puts on an impressive theme-based fireworks display watched by millions of viewers on TV, namely those who are gearing up for their own countdowns. It isn’t until 16 hours later when the world-famous crystal ball drops at Times Square in New York City.

In Japan, the New Year is one of the most important holidays of the year. Japanese New Year is associated with a new beginning. Families hold Bonenkai (forget-the-year) parties to say farewell to previous troubles and worries. Cleaning the home from top to bottom is an important ritual that prepares Japanese families for the new year. Special festivals are held at shrines and temples, and people often burn the previous year’s lucky charms.

Japanese people also send out special New Year’s postcards to their friends and loved ones, taking special care to make sure the cards are delivered by January 1st. On the seventh day of January, families enjoy a special soup called “Seven Day Rice Soup,” which is meant to give the stomach a rest from all of the festive meals enjoyed over the holiday week.
Columbians also like to say farewell to bad luck from the previous year, known in Spanish as “Ano Nuevo”.

Family members write out short notes about their bad luck and place the papers inside a homemade straw man.Mr. Old Year is dressed in clothes from each family member, and stuffed with firecrackers. You can guess the poor man’s fate at the stroke of midnight!

Firework displays are common to New Year’s celebrations worldwide. Originally fire and noise were used to cast away evil spirits and ghosts who were believed to be petrified of brightness and loud sounds. Though the meaning has largely been lost, the tradition continues today as people bond with friends and family around a spectacle of lights and music after the countdown. But all of this grandeur comes at a steep price , not only to the tourism boards, but to the environment itself. In 2008, Taiwan’s landmark Tower 101 made a commitment to use eco-friendly fireworks for its New Year’s celebrations. With one of the highest skyscrapers in the world, Taiwan set an important precedent by committing to starting the new year off on the right foot.

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