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20 years overseas! Read about Leon's life overseas.



Happy New Year!

For New Year's Traditions Around the World, click here.

Updated December 31st, 2018

American New Year Traditions:

The Countdown on New Year's Eve

Ten seconds before the New Year officially begins, everyone counts down together from ten to zero.  After that, everyone hugs (and maybe kisses) somebody next to them and shouts, "Happy New Year!"


The Song

Everyone sings "Auld Lange Syne," a traditional new year song. 
Click here.


The Party

The party actually begins on New Years Eve (the night before New Years Day) but it continues until whenever people want to go home and sleep.  For most people, that means drinking Champagne and dancing or celebrating on one fashion or another, like playing games.


The Food

There are no special, traditional foods.  Usually there are a lot of snacks at the party.  There is a traditional drink:  champagne (unless one doesn't imbibe, in which case, there are non-alcoholic, bubbly beverages available).

The Actual 1st Day of the New Year

In the USA, men sleep until noon and spend the rest of the day watching American football 'bowl' games on TV.  It's a national holiday, so no one goes to work.  I don't know what women do.

New Year's Traditions Around the World

(This obviously is NOT a comprehensive list.

And, it is a work in progress.  If you'd like to add to it, please contact me.)

Flag Country I lived there. Traditions
China The traditions are pretty much the same as anywhere.
There are parties, celebrations, fireworks, etc.

The so-called "Chinese New Year" or "Chinese Lunar New Year" is quite different.
See this page about how it is celebrated.

Republic of Korea Aside from the parties and fireworks, there are two fascinating traditions in Korea:

1)  All debts are supposed to be paid.  (Now that obviously doesn't happen for long-term financing, such as with bank loans; but all personal debts to individuals should be paid before the new year).

2)  New Years Eve Parties are themed with a forgetting of the ills/problems of the past year, and a looking forward to a happy and fortunate new year.  They call it a "Forgetting Party".

Mongolia In Mongolia (as in Russia, I believe; because the tradition came from Russia); Grandpa Winter (Uvliin Uvgun) comes to give gifts to the good little boys and girls.

The Mongolians also have a Lunar New Year which is the day after the Chinese New Year.  Learn more here.

Vietnam Vietnam celebrates pretty much in the same way as China.

Learn more here.







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"Love is all there is;  Everything else is entropy." (Leon)