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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!


I know I promised to keep posting and somehow between Hazel and I being sick (Hazel still is) and Hazel's birthday party, I feel like every time I sit down to write I just want to go to sleep and I didn't want to write a bad post, so I waited. So this is a bit late, but I thought I would share about New Year's Eve and Day with you. How did you celebrate? Did you celebrate?

Did you know there are different times of the year that people in the world celebrate New Years? Hazel and I took some books out from the library to let her know more about New Year's and I have learned so much reading them. The first one is Happy New Year! by Emery Bernhard. This book gives a bit of history of New Year's and how it has been celebrated throughout the times. It also goes into the ways different cultures have and some still do celebrate it and when. It even discusses the change of the calendar to make January 1st the new year introduced by Julius Caesar. (This is the reason on months do not match their prefixes by the way.) Caesar changed the beginning of the year to January instead of March. By the way if you are in Rome on New Year's Eve, watch out for dropping crockery. Their tradition is to throw their cracked or chipped crockery out the window at midnight. Noise-making was originally meant to scare away evil spirits. In Bali it still is. On New Year's do you celebrate the new year or say goodbye to the old one? Each culture seems to differ on this as well. 

The other books we took out (so far) are craft books. We have Holiday Handiwork by Gillian Souter. For New Year's it has a noise-maker craft as well as a dancing dragon for the Chinese New Year. By the way the Chinese New Year and other lunar new years (like  Vietnamese and Korean) will be January 31st this year. This year the Tibetan New Year is March 2nd; the Persian New Year is March 21st; the Hindu New Year is March 31st; the Hmong New Year is April 12th; and the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is September 25th. (Source of dates)
Our third book is Happy New Year, Everywhere! by Arlene Erlbach. This book shares information about the new year in twenty different countries as well as a craft/project to do from that country. This book is wonderful for teaching about different cultures! And the activities look so fun!

This year is the first year we actually "celebrated" New Year's Eve with Hazel. We went to our local library. They had some crafts and a countdown to noon. Then they played fireworks on a large screen television and had the kids jump on bubble wrap (it sounded like fireworks). Then they served sparkling cider and fish crackers. Hazel had so much fun. Oh, and the librarians had a balloon drop at noon for the kids too. Each child could make three crafts. The first was a New Year's crown. They used some Grinch crowns they had.
Then they had an egg shaker with plastic Easter eggs, popcorn kernels, decorative tape and stickers. Every child needed one to shake at noon!

The final craft was a homemade kazoo. It is made with a toilet paper roll, tissue paper, rubber band and a hole punch. Punching the hole is key to it working.
Hazel had so much fun!! She did not want to leave. Luckily we were headed out for a nice lunch with her grandmother at Hazel's favorite restaurant so we got her out of there.

And to make it even more interesting for you here are a few fun New Year's traditions I found on-line:
  • In the Netherlands, they burn their Christmas trees in bonfires to get rid of the old and welcome the new. They also have fireworks.
  • In Spain they eat twelve grapes at midnight to secure twelve months of happiness.
  • In Japan they host "forget-the-year" parties in December and then on New Year's Eve the buddhist priests 108 times to expel the 108 human weaknesses. 
  • In Brazil it is customary to wear all white except also brightly colored underwear. It is customary in Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela to wear brightly colored underwear. Yellow is supposed to bring money and red brings love.
  • In Chile, they eat a spoonful of lentils at midnight to have a year of work and money.
  • In South Africa, they throw old appliances out their windows.
Source




Now I would love to hear your family's traditions.