The turn of the New Year means different things to different people in different cultures all over the world. For many of us in the Western World, it’s the start of a new chapter, a new chance to live the life you want to live, the milestone signally new opportunities abound. A fresh start.
However, depending on what you believe in and where you are in the world and which culture you grew up in, this can be different. By understanding these different perspectives, you can apply them into your own life, and maybe see the New Year for yourself from a different standpoint.
Lunar New Year – China
Perhaps the most well-known of all ‘alternative’ new year’s is the Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year. The event lasts 15 days and is celebrated in many countries around the world, especially in the East with countries like Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as of course, China.
Another popular name for this event is the ‘Spring Festival’, because of the date that’s a milestone declaring that the hardest parts of winter are now over, marked by the first new moon of the year. Each year, an animal from the zodiac is chosen which has its own meanings and predictions for what the coming year should hold.
Gregorian Calendar New Year
Perhaps known as the most traditional form of New Year, this new year is celebrated on the 1st January every year and has been celebrated since back in the Roman times under the Julian Calendar. The day was dedicated to the god Janus and was celebrated to hail new beginnings and to bring in new opportunities for wealth and prosperity.
Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year
Rosh Hashanah, also known as ‘Head of the Year’, is celebrated by Jewish people and is an event where you reflect on the year gone by with gratitude, joy, and introspection, rather than looking forward to the coming year ahead. This is a great opportunity to take a breath at everything you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come over the last year.
In Jewish parts of the world, there are special dishes served and celebrations held to commemorate this time of year, but it doesn’t matter where you are, the beliefs behind the celebrations can be applied to your own life.
Diwali Hindu New Year
Celebrated in India, and commonly referred to as the “Festival of Lights”, Diwali is celebrated by Jains, Hindus, and Sikhs across the world and usually lasts for up to five days around November. There are varying reasons as to why Diwali is celebrated, some showcasing the triumph of good over evil in Rama stories, others in the more traditional sense, or a mixture of the two.
As you can see, New Year isn’t just celebrated on the 1st January, but at different times throughout the year depending on where you are, what your religious beliefs are, and what you believe, and there is plenty more to discover. Get educated on each time, and see what benefits you can bring into your own life to start your New Year off in the best way possible!