Monday 31 December 2012

All Around The World

Today is New Years Eve. I love New Years Eve with the daddies.

Stay likes to sit and watch the fireworks on the TV as midnight hits the clocks all around the world. He loves fireworks and so do I if they are on the TV. We've just watched them in Australia and Japan, there's many more to come.

Over the years I've learnt a lot about all the different celebrations and it's amazing there are loads.

The first place to reach midnight is funnily enough Christmas Island. This is  followed shortly by New Zealand, a bit of Russia, Australia, Japan and China, although in China they have their own special New Year as well.

Then follows Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, some more of Russia, which is surely a massive country, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and then a lot more of Russia and the Middle East. We hit Europe and Africa next at the same time.

The UK is the last part of Europe to reach midnight.Greenland follows but is before Brazil and Argentina and much of South America. North America and Canada are near the end but places like Hawaii and French Polynesia are the last countries to hit the new year.

It amazes me how it happens like that. It take a whole day for the world to begin a new year as we know it. There's lots of different traditions and ways that people celebrate.

We always watch the New Zealand and Australian fireworks together. Daddy says that nearly 1 billion people watch the fireworks in Sydney. He told me he'd been there before I was born but I don't think I'll ever be going, it's along way away.

In Japan 108 times bells ring, and their celebrations can last for a whole week. Sunrise is the big time to celebrate though and people stay up to watch it.

Daddy said that in Russia a man called Grandfather Frost comes on NYE and gives out presents a little bit like Santa does to us.

In the Far East people celebrate the new year by washing their Buddha statues with scented water and then each other for good crops. They also let their little animals go running around. I particularly can identify with this tradition. I think it's lovely that all run free to bring in good luck.

India is another place like China that doesn't have the same NYE as many of us. They have a special festival called Diwali around November time which is their New Years. They light lots of lights and candles to drive out evil. It is a great big festival for them then.

Some other countries also celebrate at their New Year at different times. In March and April time. It does get confusing the more you look into things. I used to think everyone had it at the same time.

In Europe we mainly celebrate in a similar way. Food and drinks and fireworks and people in the streets. Each country daddy says has their own old traditions but not everyone does them.

An old German tradition he told me is to leave a little bit of food on your plate till after midnight to ensure a full belly the next year. In France a lot of people have dinner parties and exchange presents. In Greece is can be an even more important day to celebrate than Christmas and a little like in the UK the first person to cross the threshold of your home after midnight is said to be lucky.

Both the daddies have celebrated NYE in the Netherlands before. They said that people can be mad with fireworks and crackers and that a lot of people would burn their Christmas trees to drive out the spirits of the old year.

Here at home Big Ben is shown on the TV and there's lots of shouting in the streets. Some people give each other a lump of coal or bread as an olde worlde tradition to wish in good luck.The daddies often spend it with some friends, there's been some very messy NYE's in the past with people ending up in shopping trolleys being pushed through the streets. It's more sedate now that we live out in the country. I think The Boy and The Girls are coming over, they are always great fun and should keep River occupied.

When you think of it there are just so many different New Year Eve's and traditions old and new it makes my head buzz. I just hope that everyone has a very happy, healthy and worry free new year.

As for me? Well I guess I shall have to wait and see.