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Happy New Year… From Around the World!

Happy last day of 2010 every one!

Coming from a Russian background, New Year’s Eve has always been a big deal in my family. Although I have never been a part of a New Year’s celebration in Russia, I have heard countless stories about the traditions and customs.

In the Russian culture New Year’s Eve is a very important holiday, one which people look forward to from January 1st. Amongst the most popular New Year symbols is a New Year’s Tree called Novogodnaya Yolka which is topped with a bright star and decorated with various sweets. Another popularly celebrated New Year tradition is the arrival of Ded Moroz or Father Frost (Santa Claus) and his granddaughter Snegurochka the snow girl. They bring in New Year presents for the good children and keep them under the New Year’s Tree.

New Year is more of a winter vacation in Russia. Schools remain closed from January 1 till January 13. The main New Year celebrations begin from night of December 31. People usually prefer to spend the day with their friends and family members. Party clubs, hotels and discotheques are all jammed up at the time of New Year. The main New Year celebrations come to an end on January 13th, when the country celebrates the Old – Style New Year. This day is not declared as a public holiday but is celebrated to mark the beginning of the year according to the Julian calendar.

I love New Year’s Eve because it is celebrated differently all around the world. It marks the end of one year and all that is to come in the new year. Different cultures everywhere have different customs and traditions that make New Year’s Eve unique to their country.

Here is a list of some other interesting customs:

* Traditionally, the Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight—for good luck.
* Displaying paper cuttings in China is a traditional custom.
* Mochituki—making New Year’s rice cakes is a fun Japanese tradition.
* In Thailand’s Songkran (The Water Festival), people get wet!
* Eating Ttok-Kuk (Rice Cake Soup) is traditional on the Korean New Year.
* Eating black-eyed peas for luck is a tradition in southern U.S. read more…

How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve?

I hope everyone has a very Happy and Safe New Year’s Eve! Happy 2011!

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