Celebrate New Year

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New Year

The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year. For different cultures, the event is celebrated in different ways.

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New Year
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Australia

In Australia they celebrate the New Year on January 1. This day is a public holiday and many people have picnics and camp out on the beach. They have parties that start on December 31 and at midnight they start to make noise with whistles and rattles, car horns and church bells. To ring in the New Year. In Australia New Year is a day for outdoor activities such as rodeos, picnic races and surf carnivals.

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Australia
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Brazil

In Brazil the lentil is believed to signify wealth, so on the first day of the New Year they serve lentil soup or lentils and rice.

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Brazil
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Brazil

On New Year’s Eve priestesses of the local macumba voodoo cult dress in blue skirts and white blouses for a ceremony dedicated to the goddess of water, Yemanja. A sacrificial boat laden with flowers, candles and jewelery is pushed out to sea from Brazil's famous Ipenama beach in Rio de Janeiro.

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Brazil
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German

In Germany people would drop molten lead into cold water and try to tell the future from the shape it made. A heart or ring shape meant a wedding, a ship a journey, and a pig plenty of food in the year ahead.

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German
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Germany

People also would leave a bit of every food eaten on New Year's Eve on their plate until after Midnight as a way of ensuring a well-stocked larder.

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Germany
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Japanese

The Japanese New year begins on January 1 and lasts for two weeks. The Japanese New Year Oshogatsu is an important time for family celebrations, when all the shops, factories and offices are closed.

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Japanese
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Japan

To keep out evil spirits, they hang a rope of straw across the front of their houses, which stands for happiness and good luck. When the New Year begins, the Japanese people begin to laugh, and this is supposed to bring them good luck in the New Year.

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Japan
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Japan

In Japan temple bells usher out the old year, and then comes the joyano-kane which is the "night-watch bell", this is a series of exactly 108 peals. These, it is said, free the faithful from the 108 "earthly desires" lambasted in the Buddhist canon.

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Japan
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Japan

The ringing of the bell 108 times is done to free the year form evil. For those who follow the Shinto religion the house is decorated with evergreens which are the symbol for eternal life and bamboo which is the symbol for honesty.

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Japan
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Japan

Paper lobsters are used as decorations in many Japanese houses at New Year. The reason is that the lobster's curved back resembles an elderly person and every New Year's greeting includes a wish for longevity.

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Japan
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Japan

There are two festivals to mark the New Year in Japan these are the Greater and the Lesser. The Greater Festival prayers are offered to the dead and friends exchange ritual gifts and visits.

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Japan
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Japan

The Lesser Festival prayers for good crops are offered to the god of the rice paddy and a bird-scaring ritual takes place.

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Japan
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Netherland

In the Netherlands people burn Christmas trees on street bonfires and let off fireworks to ring in the New Year and as a way of driving out the spirits of the old year.

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Netherland
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Roman

Romans prepare for the New Year festival which is known as January Kalends by decorating their houses with lights and greenery. They might also go to the Roman emperor and present him with a gift and wish him good fortune for the year ahead.

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Roman
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Russia

In the Soviet Union Santa is replaced with Grandfather Frost. He looks much like Santa Claus but arrives on New Year's Eve with his bag of toys. He wears blue instead of red. Father Frost can punish any evil doer by freezing them. Often kids dance around the tree, tell rhymes to Father Frost then receive their presents.

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Russia
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Russia

They have large decorated trees in the centers of the major cities. The most formal New Year's celebration is party held at the Kremlin. As many as 50,000 attendance tickets are sold in the weeks before the annual event.

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Russia
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Russia

The Russian meal on New Year's is primarily meat and potato dishes.

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Russia
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USA

A soul food of black-eyed peas and rice called Hoppin' John is eaten by some. Other foods that are eaten at New Year are cake and champagne. In the US they believe that black-eyed beans are lucky.

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USA
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USA

They also watch the Championship football games in stadiums or on their televisions.

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USA
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Tibetan

The New Year is celebrated in late January or early February at the time of the new moon. There are special dishes cooked ready for the New Year. One dish is the nine soup which is made from meat, wheat, rice, sweet potatoes, cheese, peas, green peppers, vermicelli and radishes. This dish is served with small dumplings. These dumplings contain such things as scraps of wood, paper or pebbles.

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Tibetan
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Tibetan

The second day of Gutor was spent on religious ceremonies. They would go visit the monasteries to give gifts to the monks. They let off firecrackers and torches are used to rid the homes of evil spirits which may be lurking.

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Tibetan
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Tibetan

On New Year's Day they rise early and bath, put their clothes on. They then honor the gods in their household shrines and place offerings before them. The offerings may consist of an animal and demons from a kind of dough and are known as torma. This day is also kept as a family day where gifts are exchanged and meals shared. The foods may consist of a cake called a Kapse and also an alcoholic drink called chang which is served warm.

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Tibetan
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