Students and staff disucss New Year’s celebrations in their home countries


Chris Price

New Years celebration in Australia.

Stephen Kaddis, Staff Writer

In America, New Year’s falls on Dec. 31 at midnight and is often accompanied with fireworks and ball drops. However, New Year’s is not celebrated the same way in every country.

“We celebrate the new year in China around February,” junior Shuting Yang said. “We get three weeks off from school. It’s equivalent to Christmas break here.”

 Yang enjoys the privileges and fun that come with New Year’s celebrations.

“We have festivals, parties, fireworks and  carnivals to celebrate the changing year,” Yang said.

In Brazil, while the date is the same as in America, the celebration is marked with different traditions.

“Most people wear white to bring peace for the year to come,” freshman Camila Bottini-Sinzato said. “Also, we have lots of fireworks.”

Brazilians have a tradition of visiting the ocean for good luck on New Year’s.

“We throw a white roses in the sea for the ‘sea queen’ and we believe it brings good vibrations and good luck,” Bottini-Sinzato said.

Meanwhile, sophomore Be-Sung Chung says New Year’s looks a little different in South Korea.

“Some people go to see the sunrise in the morning and wait for the big bell to ring,” Chung said. “We all look forward to celebrating it.”

Chung says there are some similarities in South Korea compared to American celebrations.

“On January 1 we watch the fireworks,” Chung said. “Families join together and have a fun time.”

Sophomore Claudia Montoya said the New Year’s celebration in Mexico is very similar to the American tradition.

“We celebrate with lots of food with family and friends and give thanks for the New Year,” Montoya said. “We eat 12 grapes at midnight and make wishes for a great year and we conclude with watching the fireworks with our families.”

The people of Pakistan enjoy the new year with a picnic in the park with their family members

“On January 1 we celebrate on that day where all families go on a picnic,” junior Aleen Zahra said. “The families meet each other and go to the parks. Some other guys do the fireworks throughout the night. My favorite part of the celebration is picnicking and having the firework display.”

During the celebration in Germany, New Year’s Eve is a show-stopper. They light off a huge firework display at the Brandenburg Gate and loved ones come together to celebrate.

“New Year’s Eve or Silvester is celebrated with friends and families,” German teacher Herr Brady Crites said. “Loved ones get together to enjoy lots of fireworks and jelly doughnuts.”

The Germans also celebrate by drinking a festive drink, Feuerzangenbowle. A hot punch with a kick is the drink of choice.

“The drink features hot punch in a bowl, above which burns a cone of sugar,” Herr Crites said. “The sugar caramelizes, melts and drips into the punch bowl, creating a drink that is just as much fun to watch as it is to drink.”

India has it’s own New Year’s traditions. According to freshman Jason Macwan, the celebration is connected with religion.

“In our culture we usually start preparation from December 15,” Macwan said. “At midnight of December 31, the church rings the bells and in the morning we go to the church and celebrate. Shaking hands with other people and eating non-vegetable food is how we celebrate.”

In Iraq, Christians combine Christmas and New Year’s, according to sophomore Marina Bodagh.

“Just Christians celebrate it by putting lights and a Christmas tree up,” Bodagh said. “We go to church and celebrate with friends and family.”

Many in America make the trek to New York City to watch the ball drop, but this isn’t appealing to everyone.

“I would never go to NYC to see the ball drop,” social studies teacher Ms. Sarah Monroe said. “Put me in a house surrounded by great friends and I’m good to go.”

Many Americans make New Year’s resolutions after their celebrations.

“I just try to stay positive,” Ms. Monroe said. “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in everyday.”