Water fights, dancing dragons, and dumpling soup: New Year traditions around Asia

In Western international locations, the beginning of a model new yr is often celebrated with fireworks and events – and infrequently topped off with drunken renditions of Auld Lang Syne. Not so in Asia, the place conventional New Year celebrations are somewhat bit completely different. As we welcome 2022 (and plead with it to go simple on us), here’s what New Year festivities appear to be across 6 Asian nations.
China The Chinese New Year is nicely known in February, with firecrackers, hanging red lanterns, and lion dances. Also known as Spring Festival, legend has it that all of it started with a battle against Nian – a mythical creature resembling a cross between a lion and a bull, that appeared in China on New Year’s Eve. The story goes that villagers shortly found the creature was frightened of loud noises and fireplace, as well as having an aversion to the color purple. And so, the custom of covering homes in purple and lighting firecrackers was born…

Nowadays, individuals hang purple lanterns and there are road parades in which performers dress up as lions and dragons. It’s tradition to give children little red envelopes containing cash, which is supposed to deliver success their means through the yr. Over the New Year vacation, the Chinese eat conventional noodle dishes, symbolising a protracted life.
Korea Korean New Year, or Seollal, can also be celebrated in February, with folks carrying conventional Korean clothing known as hanbok and coming together to wish to their ancestors for good health and peace. Special is named charye and likewise entails consuming eumbok, conventional meals through which individuals obtain the blessings of their ancestors. Once they’ve completed consuming, the youthful generation pay their respects to their elders by bowing to them (a practice generally recognized as sebae) and obtain sebaedon (New Year money) in return.
Tibet The Tibetans celebrate the Losar Festival, or Tibetan New Year, by eating guthuk, a dumpling soup created from rice, chillies and er… coal. The day starts early, with individuals inserting animal choices in shrines of their houses and hanging conventional Tibetan prayer flags to unfold peace, knowledge, and compassion. Legend has it that the flags’ messages are carried along by the wind. It’s additionally custom throughout Losar to thrust back evil spirits with straw torches and firecrackers.
Vietnam Tet, or Vietnamese New Year, is a time for family reunions, with relations coming collectively from all over the country and the spirits of long-dead ancestors welcomed too. During the holiday interval, people fill their properties with flowering peach bushes, which are believed to convey good fortune. The conventional Tet dinner consists of bánh chung – rice desserts filled with beans and pork and mang, a soup made from bamboo shoots.
Bali The Balinese New Year is named Nyepi and is celebrated in March. During the holiday, Hindus parade via the streets carrying ogah-ogahs or effigies of demons. During these parades, they also use coconut husks to whip one another, which is meant to thrust back any evil spirits. On the day itself, every thing shuts down, with a government ban on working or utilizing automobiles or lights. People are expected to spend the day quietly reflecting, in the belief that the silence will idiot evil spirits into considering everyone has left Bali and therefore they should too…

Thailand Naturally, we couldn’t finish without mentioning the Thai New Year celebration, or Songkran, as it’s recognized to Thai and farang alike. Songkran is the start of the new photo voltaic 12 months and the celebration takes place in April. What began out as a mild customized of pouring water over statues of Buddha and the arms of aged relations has, with the passage of time, evolved into the world’s biggest water fight. Take notice, should you don’t want that shiny new laptop or mobile phone to be rendered ineffective, depart it at home throughout Songkran. The association with water comes from the Thai belief that it washes away dangerous fortune. During this era, Thais will journey to their home provinces to reunite with their households and Buddhists will make advantage at temples..

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