New Year and Christmas. In different countries of the world
It's no secret that every country celebrates New Year in its own way. For us, this holiday is necessarily associated with a Christmas tree shining with lights, Santa Claus with a Snow Maiden, the smell of tangerines, walnuts in gold foil, New Year's celebrations ... But did you know that the traditions of the celebration are borrowed, for the most part, from Western culture? What has come down to us is an unimaginable mixture of medieval nobility brought from the West, preserved from the time of paganism of what was adopted and accepted in the Petrine era. It is thanks to Peter the Great that a New Year tree is lit in our homes, sparklers are sparkled, and a table breaks from holiday pickles. Yes, actually, the very celebration of the New Year as such was also introduced by Peter. It happened on January 1, 1700, and before that, the beginning of the new year on September 1 was celebrated.
In many countries, in addition to the Christmas tree, the house is decorated with mistletoe bouquets. This custom was born in England - mistletoe bouquets are attached even to chandeliers and lamps, and, as usual, you need to kiss a person standing under a bouquet of mistletoe. Very exotic New Year celebrations are held in Australia. The absence of snow, Christmas trees, deer and other usual attributes of the holiday does not sadden the inhabitants of this continent. Santa Claus marks the beginning of the New Year with his own appearance on a special brightly decorated surf on the beaches of Sydney. Moreover, in the best traditions of the Old World, in his clothes there is always a white beard and a red cap with a pompom on the end. As for the rest, the tanned body of the gift distributor covers the swimming suit.
For stiff Austrians, New Year's Eve is almost the only opportunity of the year to fool around. That evening, both young and old buy tin figures that are melted in a spoon, on a candle fire, and then poured into a special small plate: in the form that the tin will take, and they judge what awaits the owner of the figure in the coming year. God forbid, to get the number 13! But the sun or a pointed hat is great!
The Belgians from the province of Namur, who are mocked a little in Europe, have a Christmas night at the ... table. Every café, diner or village restaurant has a card game. The winner gets a surprisingly tasty bun from pastry in the form of an angel or little Jesus with icing and icing sugar.
In Burma, the New Year comes in the hottest time of the year, so its arrival is celebrated by the so-called “water festival”, when people water each other when they meet. The tradition of pouring water is a kind of wish for happiness in the New Year.
In Bulgaria for Christmas you can hear a huge number of religious hymns performed by everyone, from small to large. The Bulgarians also have their own unique tradition - sculpting scenes of the birth of Christ from a crumb of bread. A characteristic feature of the Bulgarian Christmas and New Year ceremonies and spring carol rites is the presence in them of a special character - the "king".
And when people gather at the festive table, the lights go out for three minutes in all the houses. These minutes are called "minutes of New Year's kisses," the secret of which is kept dark.
In Hungary, preparations for Christmas begin on the first Sunday of Christmas fasting. The first sign of the holiday is candles decorated with garlands that appear in homes, in offices, in general, everywhere. And on Christmas evenings in front of the house, where there is a girl of marriageable age, the boys arrange joking performances of the mummers. The real girl’s heart itself will tell you who among the mummers is married, to whom to present the award is a kiss.
In Vietnam, the New Year is celebrated at night. At dusk, the Vietnamese make bonfires in parks, gardens or on the streets and cook special rice delicacies on the coals. That night they forget all quarrels, forgive all insults, because the New Year is a holiday of friendship! The Vietnamese spends the whole next day in the family. They believe that the first person who enters their house in the New Year will bring them good luck, or vice versa, grief and misfortune.
In Germany, it is customary to give a Christmas star. One hundred years ago this plant was brought from Mexico, we call it poinsettia. With proper care on Christmas day, a bright red or pink corolla resembling a star flaunts on a green bush. They also give clover in a pot - a sign that happiness will definitely smile at you. Gingerbread pigs and chimney sweeps also bring happiness.
Very beautiful rites of the celebration of the New Year in India. There, people decorate themselves with pink, red and white flowers. Indians have their own rule of giving gifts. For example, gifts for children are placed on a special tray, to which children with their eyes closed are brought in the morning.
In Ireland, on New Year's Eve, the doors open. Everyone who wishes can enter any house and will be a welcome guest: he will be welcomed with great joy, seated in a place of honor, treated to a glass of good wine, without forgetting to say: "For peace in this house and around the world." The next day, everyone celebrates a holiday at home. At half-past ten the Irish go out onto the illuminated and festively decorated central city square.
For the Spaniards who use any excuse for a fun fiesta, the main holiday (due to greater religiosity) is Christmas: this evening is spent exclusively with the family, at the richly laid table, which, incidentally, is more elegant and plentiful, the poorer the family, since for this dinner, the hostess is trying to stock up on the most incredible goodies. Moreover, despite their age, gourmets from small to large prefer the sweet, which can be represented by dozens of different dishes.
Very beautiful during the New Year celebration in China. The whole country looks like a big luminous ball. And this happens because during the festive procession, which flows through the streets of China on New Year's Eve, people light many lights, thus illuminating their way to the New Year. And evil spirits are scared away with the help of crackers and fireworks.
In Lithuania, modern celebrations are reminiscent of Polish traditions, although due to the fact that Lithuania was Christianized only in the XIV century, many ancient beliefs and rituals have been preserved here. A traditional Christmas dinner in Lithuania consists mainly of fish dishes. He passes in a leisurely conversation until the time of the evening mass. The custom of leaving the best place at the table for an unexpected guest came from Poland, and is sacredly revered by the Lithuanians.
In Mongolia, the New Year coincides with the festival of cattle breeding, therefore it is characterized by sports, tests for dexterity and courage. Even Santa Claus comes to them in the clothes of the herder.
For residents of the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, the main New Year's event is the appearance of the local Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, in the city port. The guest arrives in the country by sea, through Rotterdam, and a meeting is organized for him in the tiny fishing village of Monnikendam, not only ordinary citizens, but also the city authorities, including the mayor of the capital. This usually occurs in early December. And all subsequent New Year’s time, the Dutch children try not to be naughty in order to earn the long-awaited gifts from Nicolas and his servants, nicknamed Black Pete.
In Norway, it is customary not to forget our smaller brothers: before going to bed on New Year's Eve, the kids hang a bowl full of wheat grains out of the feeder’s window, and put a bowl of oatmeal in a manger for a horse or foal so that the dwarf who comes with gifts can also reinforce his strength.
In Poland, Christmas Eve - Christmas Eve and its first day are considered family holidays. On Christmas Eve in a house where old customs are observed, unfrozen sheaves of bread are placed in all four corners, hay is placed under the tablecloth, and a special device is put on the festive table - a memory of family members who have gone forever. This evening, no one should feel forgotten, therefore it is customary to invite lonely people to the family Christmas Eve.
In Romania, Christmas Eve go home, singing carols. The holiday ends with mummers - “goat”, “deer” or “bear”. Romanians decided to bake various small “surprises” in New Year's cakes - small money, rings, pods of hot pepper. If you find a ring in the pie, it means that the New Year will bring you happiness.
In Northern Wales, the most important cycle of calendar holidays is the Christmas season: houses are decorated with holly branches, young people sing greeting hymns in front of each house. On Christmas Day, organized sports (usually football). In the south, the New Year is more popular: on New Year's Eve, processions of miners with lit lamps, with hymns are held.
Finns could not imagine Christmas without a straw floor. Before spreading the straw, they threw it in handfuls up to the ceiling, wondering about the future harvest. The straw was spread out under the tablecloth of the Christmas table, the ritual dishes of the festive meal were put on the floor covered with straw, and they slept on the straw on Christmas night.
The French Christmas holidays include St. Catherine's Day, the patroness of girls. Earlier that day, young trees landed, and the streets of cities and villages were filled with crowds of girls in their own hand-sewn elegant caps. Today in the French capital is celebrated "katerinet" - a holiday of young craftswomen and dressmakers.
Croatia has a unique tradition of baking wheat grains inside a small fish on the day of St. Lucia, which is celebrated on December 13. And for Christmas, candles are placed in the center of the festive table, decorated with garlands of fir branches. Another feature of the holiday in Croatia is the baking of small hearts from red dough. They are decorated with pieces of sugar, and then hanged on a Christmas tree.
Young girls are waiting for this holiday in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with great impatience, because it is on the night before Christmas that they will find out whether they will get married this year. Answer the question ... an ordinary slipper, which they should throw over their heads towards the door. If the slipper falls toe to the door, the groom will soon appear, and if towards the room, the bride will have to wait another year. The Czechs and Slovaks celebrate the holiday in the family circle. New Year's rounds of “climbers” are widespread with wishes of happiness and good, which once had a magical function. According to Czech tradition, under the table with a Christmas dinner, you must definitely put a head of garlic - it will protect family members from everything evil.
Swedes have Christmas (Yul) - the main holiday, preparations for which begin in 2-3 weeks: brew beer, bake bread, cookies in the shape of a pig, goat or star. The belief remains about the healing properties of Christmas bread and beer. Christmas dance evenings are accompanied by a dressing.
In the country of the rising sun - Japan - all residents of cities and villages go out on the street in the morning of the first day of the year to meet the sunrise. When the first sun's rays illuminate the earth, the Japanese congratulate each other on the coming year and exchange gifts. And it is customary to spend the evening with family. And in order not to let evil spirits into their homes, they hang wreaths at the entrance to the house. And they are supposed to laugh at the time of the New Year - after all, laughter will surely bring good luck in the coming year.
Happy New Year and merry Christmas! With new happiness!