Different cultures celebrate New Year’s in diverse ways. Whether it’s going to a party, staying at home to watch the ball drop or eating special food, New Year’s is a special day.
In America, New Year’s is celebrated in many ways. Many start celebrating New Year’s Eve with a gathering of family or friends for dinner and end it with a countdown from 60 seconds as they watch the ball drop in Times Square.
Many Americans make a list of New Year’s Resolutions, which they may or may not complete by the time the next countdown begins. The most popular resolutions include losing weight, spending money more carefully, and dropping unhealthy habits such as smoking or eating junk food.
A typical Chinese New Year, which fell on Jan. 31 this year, starts off with getting together with family friends for a nice holiday meal. There are ten good luck foods that the Chinese specifically like to eat for their New Year’s meal, consisting of fish, noodles, fruit, and a dessert to represent the sweetness of the New Year.
People celebrating usually exchange red envelopes or packets between loved ones as a gift, each one symbolizing good luck and ward off evil spirits. Inside each envelope is a small amount of money and treats. A more traditional Chinese celebration includes a dance ceremony called Lion Dancing. Two performers dress in one lion costume, and their faces are usually covered. Towards the end of the night fireworks are released, starting off the Chinese New Year in a special way.
Much like Chinese New Year, the French hold an exchange of cards and gifts to celebrate the new year. A big part of the French New Year celebration includes getting together and sharing New Year’s resolutions. French traditions include a nice meal of foie gras, a delicate dish including a liver of a goose or duck that has been especially fattened, and champagne.
Instead of kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas, the French do it for New Year’s. As a whole, their New Year’s celebration can range from anything like a simple intimate dinner with friends, to a formal ball, called “une soirée dansante.”
A survey was sent out to the Archer community asking how people celebrate New Year’s and the results show how diverse our community is. Different people at Archer celebrate on Dec. 31 and on the Chinese New Year and have traditions unique to their culture.