Question: January 1st became the start of the year in England in 1752. On what date did the New Year begin before then?
Answer: March 25th – Lady Day, or The Feast of the Annunciation, began the year. Scotland changed over 152 years before England!
It’s New Year’s Eve and tonight festivities will take place up and down the land. People will gather together to dance, to eat, to drink, to watch firework displays and to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. In London, as Big Ben strikes 12, revellers will party in Trafalgar Square and on the Thames Embankment. In Edinburgh, Princess Street will see thousands celebrate Hogmanay and in Cardiff crowds of people will come together to celebrate Calennig. But how is the New Year celebrated in other parts of the world? Let’s find out…
Kiritimati, an island in the Republic of Kiribati, is the first place to welcome in the New Year. It does so at 10 AM GMT.
In Japan people welcome the god of the New Year, Toshigami, by cleaning their homes.
In the Philippines a midnight feast is held and people wear bright and colourful clothes.
In Estonia, people eat up to 12 times on New Year’s Eve. It is thought that for each meal eaten, the strength of a man is gained and 12 is a lucky number.
In Germany and Finland the happenings of the coming year are foretold by analysing a piece of lead. It is melted and then dropped into cold water. The shape it takes predicts the fortune of the one who dropped it.
Believe it or not, in Italy people wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve, believing it will bring them good luck!
In Portugal and Spain 12 raisins or grapes are eaten – one for each month of the year and along with each chime of the midnight clock. These are said to grant 12 wishes.
In African countries people bring in the New Year at church. In South Sudan the service begins at 9 PM and does not end until 12.30 AM.
In Ecuador it is customary for men to wear drag on New Year’s Eve! This is to represent the ‘widow’ of the year that has ended.
Perhaps my favourite of all of these customs is practised in Venezuela where people wear yellow underwear, eating Pan de Jamon, a bread containing ham, bacon, raisins and green olives, and pulling a suitcase around their house!
However you plan on seeing in 2016, we at Education Quizzes wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!