First of all, a lot of our beliefs about holidays come from childhood and the way our parents grow us. On which day to give presents, should they be a surprise or preordered, appear under the Christmas tree or given directly, or actually, should we put a Christmas tree? All these vary from culture to culture and transform during our adulthood. Honestly speaking, I have realised from my environment that setting a Christmas tree is mostly presented in families with children in order to deliver them a taste of a holiday, or when some guests are expected to appear during winter holidays to provide with a cozy atmosphere. Because of environmental and over-consumption reasons more and more people become conscious about a real fir-tree. However, there are alternative variants these days, like renting a Christmas tree; having one tree in soil with the idea to put it to grow in the forest; decorating a tree in your garden, without cutting it down; making one from paper, or any things you have imagination from.
The tradition of putting a Christmas tree was created in middle age Livonia (present-day Estonia and Latvia), and on the territory, what is now Germany, where Protestant Christians brought designed trees into their homes. It procured ubiquity past the Lutheran spaces of Germany and the Baltic states during the second part of the nineteenth century, at first among the high societies. In the Western Christian custom, Christmas trees are differently put on days like the first day of Advent or even as late as Christmas Eve depending upon the country. Actually, the first artificial Christmas trees were produced in Germany during the 19th century. Such "trees" were produced using goose feathers that were dyed in green.
Let's discover about the New Year celebration in different cultures.
In Spain, people consume grapes, one for every toll of the clock at midnight. The twelve eaten grapes are told to represent luck for every month. The legend of this tradition comes from a belief that at the turn of the 20th century in the southern region of Spain wine producers aimed to encourage demand for grapes during winter.
In Brazil, people are wearing white cloth, since the new year is regarded as a time to reflect upon the past and make new resolutions for the future year. The white color signifies luck, prosperity, and is marked 'to scare' bad spirits.
Of unique difference is a celebration in China, and the first reason for that is that the Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in China, that is known as the Spring Festival. Following the Lunar Calendar instead of the Gregorian Calendar, the 15-day long festival has a different date every year. Houses and cities are decorated with red elements, symbolizing good luck, and fortune. Kids receive red envelopes with money, which is believed a form to symbolically share fortune from the elder to younger generation. Moreover, there are parades, lion dances, ornamental dragon figures, and imperial performances to highlight the celebration.
In the former post-Soviet countries, like Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia New Year Eve is the most prominent family holiday among others throughout the year. Children are waiting for a Santa Claus known as 'Dedushka Moroz', who gives presents in the sack after a kid says a little poem or song. A lot of people who used to live in the Soviet Union watch the film 'The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!' a love comedy story supported with sadness. It was one of the most successful Soviet films, and it remains a highly popular New Year's Eve classic in the former Soviet republics with millions tuning in to rewatch it every New Year's Eve. The most common meal is an Olivje salad, but there are also some other salads which are commonly eaten on the first 2 days of the New Year later because there was so much prepared.
In Greece the celebration of the New Year is known as the Festival of Saint Basil, praising the creator of the Greek Orthodox Church. There are rituals in attracting luck and bringing prosperity, for example, to hang an onion on the door as a symbol of rebirth. What is more, Greeks have in tradition to eat Vasilopita, known as Saint Basil’s cake. This cake is baked with a silver or gold coin inside, and the one who finds the coin in their portion of a cake is believed particularly lucky in the forthcoming year.
In Ecuador, burning images ( mainly effigies) symbolizes eradicating bad things from the old year. Ecuadorians make big effigies in the representation of politicians, pop culture figures, and other idols and set them on fire at midnight. That represents the purification of bad energy from the previous year and it represents a nice fortune.
And in which way do you celebrate New Year, and will meet 2022? Did you find some common traditions with your foreign friends? Sharing meals from different cuisines, watching firewalls?
Happy and healthy New Year!