December Holidays Around the World, part 4 or 4

28 Dec December Holidays Around the World, part 4 or 4

As the fourth and final installment of the 2020 December Holidays Around the World series, data2insight wishes you a happy new year.

New Year’s Eve (31 December).  New Year’s Eve celebrations will be far less raucous this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  However, many will undoubtedly be happy to see the back of 2020 and welcome in 2021, particularly with the possibility of a vaccine on the horizon.  (source).

Here are some interesting facts about how New Year’s is celebrated around the world (source):

  • In Ecuador, families dress a straw man in old clothes on December 31. The straw man represents the old year. The family members make a will for the straw man that lists all of their faults. At midnight, they burn the straw man, in hopes that their faults will disappear with him.
  • In Japan, Omisoka (or New Year’s Eve) is the second most important holiday of the year, following New Year’s Day, the start of a new beginning. Japanese families gather for a late dinner around 11 PM, and at midnight, many make visits to a shrine or temple. In many homes, there is a cast bell that is struck 108 times, symbolizing desires believed to cause human suffering.
  • Those in Hong Kong pray to the gods and ghosts of their ancestors, asking that they will fulfill wishes for the next year. Priests read aloud the names of every living person at the celebration and attach a list of the names to a paper horse and set it on fire. The smoke carries the names up to the gods and the living will be remembered.
  • To celebrate the Chinese New Year, many children dress in new clothes to celebrate and people carry lanterns and join in a huge parade led by a silk dragon, the Chinese symbol of strength. According to legend, the dragon hibernates most of the year, so people throw firecrackers to keep the dragon awake.

Join data2insight as we celebrate the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021!