That splatter of colour that lights up the night sky is the perfect way to end (or begin) a night of family, friends and fun. The best holidays to use fireworks are the ones that symbolise a new beginning and the end of an era. New Year’s Day is, therefore, a symbol of the new overcoming the old. However, while the conventional and well-known New Year is always a day to look forward to, New Year’s Day is a culturally-rich and varying holiday for certain cultures. It depicts a complex and interesting tapestry of humanity as we all celebrate the New Year of our different cultures in different ways, but ultimately, acknowledge the newness and hopefulness it brings to communities.
New Year’s Day (Gregorian Calendar)
New Year’s Day finds itself to be one of the biggest holidays symbolised by the end of the old and the beginning of the new. Celebrated on the first of January every year at exactly 12 a.m, fireworks make it a splendid affair. What’s more is that most households are found to be screaming gleeful “Happy New Year!’s from all around. New Year’s Day sees a lot of colour in the Americas, Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia, with massive displays earning television time for all to see. Oftentimes, millions of people tune in on their TV sets to watch the Ball drop in Time Square against the backdrop of fireworks.
Also known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ in English, the Hindu festival is one that is perfect for fireworks and firecrackers. It is, after all, a celebration of light and there is no better way to bring a little light into dark skies than a few colourful fireworks. Diwali is a Hindu festival and often connotes a new beginning, just like the conventional New Year. It is a beautiful display of lights and fireworks, giving thanks to the Goddess of wealth and prosperity Lakshmi, and the elephant-headed God Ganesh, wishing prosperity and goodness to neighbours with feasts of delicious cuisine.
The Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is another celebration that millions of people look forward to. It is also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. China’s calendar is according to the animal zodiacs that determine the kind of fortunes that will be bestowed on each person. There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, so every twelve years the calendar cycle starts again. The festivities include lanterns, fireworks and feasts for millions of communities. Family and friends come together to a household and often eat together to celebrate the coming of the New Year over two weeks of celebrations.
Rosh Hashanah in Israel is a Hebrew New Year’s celebration that is also titled the Feast of Trumpets. Many practising Jews visit synagogues or temples. The Shofar-Blowing ceremony is when a horn- instrument (often from a ram) is blown 100 times in the mornings of the two-day holiday. As many New Year festivities include the presence of light, Rosh Hashanah also has its own lighting ceremony where candles are lit on each evening. This holiday is often overlooked as a New Year’s celebration but it is one of the oldest practices.