Children celebrating Songkran in Thailand (Shutterstock.com. See main credit below)
Blog Words : Weird@Wanderlust | 02 January

Your guide to New Year celebrations throughout the year

Love New Year's Eve but don't want to wait another 12 months until the next one? Here's an annual guide to the different New Year's celebrations observed around the world.

January

Head to the Gwaun Valley in Pembrokeshire, Wales on January 13 where the local villagers still follow the old Julian calendar, first devised by the Romans. Children walk from house to house, and sing traditional Welsh songs and in return the locals give them sweets and money.

February

Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the lunar calendar and usually falls some time between January 20 and February 20. The holiday is celebrated with lion and dragon dances, drums, fireworks and firecrackers across China and China Towns across the world.

Koreans also celebrate their New Year, Seollal, following the lunar calendar but it is a more subdued affair with food, family and a particularly Korean game called Yunnori.

The Vietnamese New Year, Tet, also follows the lunar calendar and, like the Chinese and Korean ones, falls on February 19 in 2105.

March

Nowruz marks the New Year in the Iranian calendar and falls on the Spring equinox, usually on March 22 or the first day before or after. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years and is still observed in Central Asia, South Asia, North West China, the Crimea and some parts of the Balkans.

Those following the Vikram Samvat calendar in Northern India also celebrate New Year around the Spring equinox in a festival called Gudi Padwa.

The Sikhs, on the other hand, follow the Nanakshahi calendar and mark the New Year on March 14, the birthday of Guru Nanak in 1469.

April

South East Asia is the place to head to for New Years' hijinks in April, with Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Burma celebrating on and around the 12th, 13th or 14th each year. Things are pretty low key in Cambodia, with the locals prefering to pop down to the local temple or visit family, but elsewhere you're likely to get drenched as locals celebrate the start of the new year by dousing each other – and you – with water.

The Sinahalese and Tamil New Year's are celebrated around this time in Sri Lanka too.

In Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Nepal, Orissa, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, households celebrate the new year when the Sun enters Aries on the Hindu calendar, normally on April 14 or April 15, depending on the leap year.

June

Known as the 'African New Year', The Odune Festival, is a celebration of the Yoruba culture held on the second Sunday in June. It is a fairly local tradition however, so you'll have to travel to Philadelphia to join in the celebrations.

September

Ethiopia uses its own ancient calendar, based on the Julian calendar. It's New Year, called Enkutatash, is celebrated on September 11 (or on September 12 in leap years) and also marks the end of the summer rainy season.

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hoshanan, falls during September or October and is celebrated by religious services and special meals. In 2015 it falls on September 13. 

October

The first day of the Islamic New Year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar based one, the date changes from year to year. In 2015, it falls on October 13.


Main image: Children celebration Songkran in Thailand. (Shutterstock)