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Happy New Year

December 22, 2011, 03:30:45
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This New Year when we celebrate 2016 over 1 billion people will be celebrating the New Year 4712. Yet another billion will mark the New Year 2072 - and on 5 different dates within the same year!

 

The Western New Years tradition is based on the Gregorian calendar that started in Venice in 1522. It spread to the Roman Empire in 1544, and was accepted by the British Empire in 1752. But there are other calendars being used to this day and other dates for New Years celebrations, even for different year counts!

 

 

In the USA, New Years begins with lively New Years Eve parties on the night of Dec. 31 and ends New Years Day Jan 1 with sleepy-eyed people watching beautiful parades and American college football play-off games on TV. The Pasadena Rose Parade is the grandest of them all and includes hundreds of beautifully designed "floats" all made from fresh-cut flowers. Movie stars and celebrities ride the floats, drive in decorated cars or ride horseback along the 10 mile long parade route.

 

In Europe they also celebrat December 31st and party long into the morning hours shooting off tons of fireworks from public and private gatherings into the midnight sky. In South America, the city of Rio De Janeiro puts on what is said to be the world's largest fireworks display.

 

The Chinese New Year will be on Feb. 8th, 2016. The Chinese will be celebrating the Year of the Monkey 4712 - a symbol of luck and romance. It ends with the Lantern Festival where thousands of lighter-than-air rice paper lanterns fill the skies and huge paper dragons are carried in parades through the city streets.

 

The Persian New Year (Iran, Turkey, Northern Iraq, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan) is called Noruz and celebrates 2 different year counts, 1395 for the Islamic count and 2575 for the Kingdom count. It always falls on the Spring Equinox, which this year is Sunday March 20. But its roots stretch back thousands of years before this to the ancient Egyptians and is a feast of the first official Spring Day of seed planting for the summer crops.

 

The Jewish New Year  is called Rosh Hashanah and will be held on =ctober 2nd at sundown. It will celebrate the year 5776 of the Hebrew Calendar. This festival is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.

 

The Islamic New Year (most Arabic countries) comes from the Hijri lunar calendar. It falls on the first day of Muharram. In 2014 it will fall on Monday Oct. 3rd and will celebrate the 1437th year since Muhammad entered the city of Medina.

 

India must hold the record for different New Years celebrations in a single country - it has 5 different New Years dates on its calendar, Ugadi, Gudi, Padwa, Puthandu, and Vishu. All 5 celebrations fall sometime in April and all will be celebrating the year 2072. Japan celebrates the New Year on December 31.  


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