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New Years, Different Dates for Different Cultures Illustration

The New Year

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Different dates for different cultures

Celebration of each new year is probably one of the oldest holidays known to man. New Year wasn't always celebrated on the first of January. That's a relatively new trend, and even today is only true for some religions and cultures. Chinese New Year is celebrated on a different date each year. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in September. India's new year, Diwali, is celebrated in October. Over 4,000 years ago, the ancient Babylonians celebrated the new year in March, with feasting and parties outdoors.

Today, in Persia, people might still go on a picnic because in Iran (also called Persia) the New Year (called Nowruz) is celebrated on the first day of spring, and is a great deal of fun. Haji Firuz, in a red hat and coat, plays his little drum and sings songs. The food is terrific. The mood wonderful! Persian New year is a 13 day good time, with a great deal of history and charm.

The Japanese celebrate New Year's on January 1st. They also celebrate it on January 2nd and January 3rd. In Japan, this holiday is known as Oshogatsu (New Years Days). It is a three day celebration and one of the most important celebrations of the year. One of their traditions is to send friends and neighbors special new years cards. These cards are not delivered by the post office right away. All new years cards are held, and on January 1st, all of these cards, all over Japan, are delivered all on the same day!

Some of the New Year's traditions we enjoy today have been around for quite a while! It was the ancient Greeks, over 2,000 years ago, who started the tradition of honoring the first baby born in each new year. The New Year, whenever it occurs, is celebrated as a time of rebirth, a chance to sweep out the old and to start anew.

You can enjoy New Years any time of the year with these cool games! New Years games & stories

For teachers and students:

Panoramas, Stories, Quizzes, New Year's Resolutions Worksheet

New Years Around the World (lesson plan)

Happy New Year links

Free New Year Resolution Card

Happy Birthday (personal start of each new year)

Teaching the Days of the Week, Months of the Year, Parts of a Calendar

Kwanzaa

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