Cheers to everybody who waits for a new year to make new resolutions which would make a difference in their lives, especially if the previous year has been pretty messed up. I have a friend who always invites me at his place on the New Year's Eve to witness his future moves and transformations for the New Year, especially the dos and the don'ts. He always makes it a big deal because he believes that new beginnings and change of things happens at the start of every year. Well, how do you usher in your new year? How do you celebrate your new year?
A new year gives everyone a chance to start something new and different. This means that it does not matter what your life was before, how unfortunate your previous year has been, what matters is that there will be change. It all depends on how you welcome the New Year. Today I intend to inform you how the New Year is celebrated in different countries around the world. Explicitly, we will look at New Year culture in Japan, Vietnam and South Korea.
New Year cultures
Firstly, let us look at how the Japanese celebrate their New Year. Customary, you will find people in Japan always say "akemashite-omedetou-gozaimasu," to each other whenever they meet, this means Happy New Year (Mishima 1). On this occasion, people eat unique dishes referred to as Osechi ryori. These dishes are packed in several layers in a box called Jubako.
If you visit Japan during the New Year, you will realise that different families and regions eat mochi (rice cake) and Zouni (rice cake soup) but with different ingredients (Mishima 2). Additionally, adult Japanese usually give money to children during the New Year's celebrations, which is referred to as otoshidama. Where there is a family gathering, people always carry envelopes containing money. People also visit a temple or shrine during the holiday to pray for good fortune in the future, safety and good health. Ultimately, when you go to Japan during the New Year's holiday, you will find most businesses are closed.
Secondly, we will look at how people from Vietnam celebrate their New Year, which is the most popular and important festival of the year. The Vietnamese people acknowledge the Lunar New Year as "Tet," and it is during this occasion that families come together to pay respects to their ancestors (Nguyen 1). It is a custom for the family members to come together to offer the New Year's wishes and greetings to one another. You will find out that the elderly members of the family give red envelopes to young youths and children, who then provide wishes before opening them for success, good health, and good luck.
Furthermore, you will realise that family members will carefully choose a guest that will step into their home for the very first time. By doing this Vietnamese people believe that they will receive good fortune or luck. Also, Vietnam people think that "Tet" is a time that family members should come together to share the first delicious meal of the year (Nguyen 4).
Lastly, we will travel all the way to South Korea to see how different their culture is during the New Year's celebrations. You find out that most Koreans usually celebrate the New Year's twice, on the lunar calendar and the solar calendar, but the most important one is the Lunar New Year. When you go there, you will find everyone wearing a traditional hanbok (dress). Just like Japanese and Vietnamese, the Koreans also reconnect with their family members (Imatome-Yun 2). Children receive words of wisdom and money as gifts for the event and bow down to pay respects for their elders. Moreover, you will recognise that the Koreans prepare traditional foods such as duck gook (thinly sliced rice cakes). They believe that children get a year older when they eat some duk gook.
Even though there is a difference of culture in Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, these countries consider the New Year's event vital, and that is why they all have a celebration. I hope this speech has informed you about the different New Year's celebrations. You should probably consider growing interest to know what other countries apart from the ones have mentioned doing to celebrate a new year.
Imatome-Yun, Naomi. How Do Koreans Celebrate the New Year? 2018. <https://www.thespruceeats.com/korean-new-year-celebrations-2118611>.
Mishima, Shizuko. The Highlights of the Japanese New Year Celebration. 10 August 2017. <https://www.tripsavvy.com/japanese-new-year-celebrations-1550138>.
Nguyen, Lien. Vietnamese New Year Traditions. 2018. <https://www.citypassguide.com/en/travel/vietnam/activities/blog/vietnamese-new-year-traditions>.
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