Tag Archives: new year’s

New Year Celebrations Around the World

New Year Celebrations Around the World

Happy New Year from The Traveling Gals!

Celebrate this year with a new tradition from around the world!

Austria – Austrian revelers burn mortars which is believed to ward off all the evil spirits and negative energies of the past, and ensure everything pleasant and positive for the coming time of the New Year.

Denmark – Danish New Year’s celebrations are raucous.  It is their tradition to save up old dishes and plates all year in order to hurl them at the doors of family and friends. The shattered glassware left littering a person’s front door represents how beloved they are, depending on how many well-wishers turned out to destroy plates in the name of friendship.

New Year's in Ecuador
Ecuador

Ecuador – Ecuadorians start the New Year literally on fire.  Each New Year’s Eve, life-sized or miniature models of public figures, celebrities or fictional characters that are believed to be “sinners” are set on fire at midnight. This is meant to banish the evil of the previous year and clear the air for the New Year.

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Holidays Around the World: Japan

Holidays Around the World: Japan

Holiday Traditions around the World: Christmas in JAPAN

Japan is predominately Shinto.   Shinto is an ethnic religion based in ritual practices to connect modern Japan with its ancient past.  It is said to have started in the sixth century, but there is no known scripture or founder so Christmas does not play much of a part in Japan.  The small amount of Christians in Japan celebrate Christmas with an ethnic twist.  For example, the nativity participants are dressed in traditional Japanese costume.  The Christmas tree is decorated with origami ornaments.  The Santa figure is an old man, Hoteiosho who carries a pack and is said to have eyes in the back of his head prompting the children to behave at all times!  Hoteiosho is considered a god or priest in Japanese culture.

Holidays Around the World: Japan - The Traveling Gals
Kyoto

The traditional New Year celebration of O-Shogatsu is the most important Japanese holiday of the year.  It is celebrated from January 1st – January 3rd.  Years are viewed completely separately so worries must be left behind in an old year and the new year must start fresh.  Homes are cleaned on New Year’s Eve to make way for a renewed start on January 1st.  Bonenkai parties (forget the year gatherings) are thrown throughout the country for offices, friends and families to leave their troubles behind and conclude any unfinished business.  Tokishoshi soba is known as the year crossing noodle and is served on New Year’s Eve to promote longevity.  Read More