The New Year has to do with new beginnings, new wishes and new thoughts. All religions celebrate the New Year as their own traditions and customs, but the enthusiasm is the same. Different religions believe that the New Year marks the beginning of a new life. It is said that the New Year offers the opportunity to leave behind the memories of the old year and regenerate promising to lead a better life in the next year.
New Year by Religions Different customs and traditions give special importance to the New Year celebrations. New year falls almost every month according to different religions. Some celebrate it in the spring, while others celebrate it in the fall. The essence of the New Year celebrations includes the joyous celebration, the banquet, the prayer and the desire for good luck and prosperity in the coming months. However, different religions have specific rituals as part of their tradition and custom to mark the occasion. This article will introduce you to some different religions celebrate your new year.
The Hindu calendar has undergone several changes since antiquity. It generally follows a solar-solar pattern. The Hindu New Year is celebrated according to the Hindu lunar calendar Panchanga. The popular name of the Hindu New Year is Vikram Samvat. In the Indian calendar, the seasons follow the sun, the months follow the moon and the days follow the sun and the moon. A panchanga or panjika (almanac) is an integral part of the calculation dates. As such, the beginning of the Hindu New Year falls on varying dates each year according to the modern calendar. Celebrations mark the triumph of good over evil. Lakshmi and Ganesh are typically revered as they are believed to bring luck and prosperity. People clean, decorate and light their houses, prepare sweets, buy new clothes and visit family and friends to exchange gifts and greetings.
The Hindu New Year is celebrated with joy and pomp throughout India. People light oil lamps and decorate the house with auspicious flowers with pink, red, violet or yellow. The Rangoli design is also an attractive part of the New Year decorations. The Indians get up early in the morning, take a bath and wear new clothes. They bring deities to the house of the Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) and Lord Ganesha. Prayers are offered and prasad is distributed among the members of the family. At the time of the New Year, gifts and sweets are exchanged among themselves. People consider that this festival is a propitious time to start the New Year.
The Islamic New Year, also known as the Arab New Year or Hijri New Year (in Arabic: رأس السنة الهجرية Ra’s al-Sanah al-Hijrīyah), is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year, and is the day in In which the year is counted increases. On the first day of the year, the first day of Muharram is observed, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The first Islamic year begins in 622 Common Era (CE) with the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, known as Hijra. All religious duties, such as prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage, and the dates of important events, such as the celebration of holy nights and festivals, are calculated according to the lunar calendar.
While some Islamic organizations prefer to determine the new month (and, therefore, the new year) by the local sightings of the moon, most Islamic institutions and countries, including Saudi Arabia, follow the astronomical calculations to determine the dates future of the Islamic calendar. There are several schemes to calculate the tabular Islamic calendar (that is, they are not based on observations), which results in differences of one or even two days between the countries that use this scheme and those that use lunar sightings. For example, the Umm al-Qura Calendar used in Saudi Arabia was reformed several times in recent years.
According to the Nanakshahi calendar, the Sikh New Year (Nanakshahi) begins with Chet 1, which is normally March 14 according to the Gregorian calendar. The Baisakhi Festival, also called Vaisakhi, is of great importance to the Sikh community and the farmers of Punjab. Baisakhi falls on April 13 or 14, the first day of the year according to the Nanakshahi calendar. Celebrations include a worship service, kirtan (devotional songs), langar (free sacred vegetarian food service), parades, gatka (dance with wooden swords), martial arts demonstrations and fireworks displays.
Traditional songs and dances reinforce the spirit of the Baisakhi festival. After performing rituals in Gurudwaras, people from the Sikh community take processions. The sacred book of the Sikhs is taken out in the processions. In the holy book it is read that the Sikh guru asked five volunteers to sacrifice their lives, then he took each of them to a tent and each time he left with a bloody sword, but in reality he sacrificed a goat. Therefore, the procession is headed by five men to honor the Panj Pyaras. The fervor and vigor of the festival can be seen in these long processions that pass through various locations in the city. The Sikh men and women who wear garish clothes perform the famous bhangra and gidda dance.
Christians celebrate the New Year with devotion and joy on January 1 according to the Gregorian calendar. The festivities begin the day before on New Year’s Eve, when friends and family gather to welcome the New Year when the clock strikes midnight. Devout Christians begin New Year’s Day early with the services of the church. The choirs sing traditional New Year songs. The fun and the party that started the day before continue as people attend parties, dances and family gatherings.
A tradition of the season is the elaboration of New Year’s resolutions. Many people keep New Year’s resolutions next year. They even commit to fulfilling their wishes. Modern New Year’s resolutions are the promise of losing weight or quitting smoking and many more. Another famous tradition of New Year Parades is attended with enthusiasm by people of all age groups. These parades are preceded by the football game, which is the main attraction of the festival.
New year introduces the festive spirit. People have fun in New Year activities with fun and excitement. The New Year brings happiness and, therefore, people consider it a great adventure to welcome next year. New Year celebrations begin with New Year’s Eve. Christians attend dances, theme and private parties to celebrate the New Year. Party rooms are reserved in advance and there is rarely a place that is not visited by members. Festive music and songs vibrate New Year’s parties. People wear their best clothes to celebrate the New Year. At 12 midnight, people make a lot of noise, hug, kiss and wish each other “Happy New Year”.
New year occurs on different days in different countries after Buddhism. The new year in the countries of Theravadin, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Lao is celebrated for three days from the first day of the full moon in April. In the Mahayan countries, New Year celebrations begin on the first day of the full moon in January. These countries celebrate the day according to their ethnic origin and culture. The people of China, Korea and Vietnam celebrate it in the month of January or early February, while Tibetans usually celebrate a month later. Buddhist New Year The new year is the time to expect the best of next year. People reflect on their past and rectify all their mistakes. It is observed with the same spirit and joy in most countries.
The Buddhist celebration of the New Year is dominated by regional customs and culture. Some countries have a one-day celebration, while others extend it to several days. However, there are some common traditions. The most common of these is the spirit of happiness, joy and splendor. Buddhists visit monasteries, bathe Buddha statues, light candles and pray before Lord Buddha and other powerful deities. The food is offered to the monks. Devotional songs are sung praising the Buddha and other deities. People wash their parents’ feet as a symbol of respect and reverence.
The Bahá’ís observe their New Year on the day of the vernal equinox, usually on March 21 of each year. They follow a unique calendar of their own calendar known as Badi that has nineteen months each with nineteen days. This solar calendar also has provisions for an extra period of four days in a regular year, and five in the case of a leap year, adding up to 365 or 366 days. The New Year begins from the spring equinox.
The Baha’is believe that one day begins at sunset. As such, its New Year celebrations begin on the night of March 20. New clothes and a variety of foods mark their new year. People also believe that throwing sprouted lentils in the flowing water of the river would supposedly take away all bad luck.
People dress in new clothes. People get together with their relatives and friends and exchange New Year’s gifts and greetings between them. People also throw their germinated lentils in the river’s running water. He’s supposed to take all the bad luck with him.
The dining room table is decorated with symbolic elements such as fruits, colored eggs, cakes, a sacred book and a mirror. People eat special dishes from Naw Ruz such as Sabzi Polo Mahi, which is rice with green herbs served with fish, Reshteh Polo (rice cooked with noodles) and Dolme Barg (meat cooked with cotyledon and some vegetables on vine leaves). The special food Naw Ruz is symbolic in some way or another. It helps bring happiness and success in life.
For more than a thousand years, Jews have celebrated their New Year in the month of Tishri, which falls in September or October according to the modern calendar. The Jewish New Year is a socioreligious celebration of great spirit that lasts ten days. This period is known as Shabbat Shuva. It begins with Rosh Hashana that commemorates the first two days of the festival and ends with Yom Kippur on the tenth day. Family and friends gather to pray before lighting candles, taking holy baths, reciting Kiddush prayers, giving charity, participating in a festive meal and wishing health, wealth, happiness and longevity.
A unique feature of the Jewish New Year celebration is the blowing of the Shofar (made of ram’s horn) symbolizing repentance for the sins of the past. According to Jewish belief, God seals the destiny of man on New Year’s Day. Those who have repented for their sins are blessed with a happy new year.
According to the Hebrew calendar, the Jewish New Year 2018 will fall on the first two days in the seventh month. The festival date varies every year, as the Jews follow a lunar-solar calendar. It is said that the first ten days of the month are the most sacred, when they observe the New Year. The Jewish New Year 2018 will be observed on September 28.
According to customs, people receive 10 days for atonement. After 10 days, they are asked the day of expiation or Yom Kippur arrives and the Jewish people are asked to apologize for their misdeeds. They try to replace all their bad actions by doing some good deeds. They dream and pray for a better life and think of the ways that can lead them to the life of their dreams. According to popular belief, if one is sincere about his prayers, God will not write anything but good for him in the holy book.
The spring equinox (March 21) is celebrated as Nawruz or New Year by the Zoroastrians, since it is the first day of the year Zoroastrian Khorshidi (solar). Celebrations can be classified into four parts: Renewal: Nawruz marks the end of a nineteen-day fast period. Just as Spring marks the blossoming of a new life in the flora, Nawruz is believed to lead to the renewal of spirit, relationships, etc. Families gather and wait patiently as the Spring Equinox is announced on radio and television.
Spring cleaning: each home is given a new life with complete cleaning and ventilation. This is called Khaneh-Tekani. Each member of the family coordinates to prepare the house for Nawruz. The seeds of the buds are sown in earthenware so that they show signs of growth by the time of Nawruz.
Nawruz Party and Table – There is no full Nawruz celebration unless family and friends gather around the Nawruz table with their best clothes for the banquet. The Nawruz table is covered in white purity. In it is placed the sacred book, an image of Zarathustra, mirror, candles, incense burner, bowl of water with live gold fish, containers containing the shoots planted during spring cleaning, etc. The most important part of the design of the table are the seven objects whose name begins with the letter “S” (seen) or “SH” (brightness).