Monday, January 10, 2011


    The dawning of the bright new year is celebrated worldwide.

In Australia the largest celebrations are held in Melbourne and Sydney.  It is party time and wonderful fireworks displays especially along Sydney harbor.  Over a million and a half partake in this annual event in each of the cities.

 -In Brazil, the Corrida de Sylvestre, the Saint Sylvester marathon is a yearly event where athletes parade downtown in Saint Sao Brazil.  Brazilians also traditionally wear white on New Years Eve.

-In -Canada, New Years Eve is either celebrated with family or friends in parties and social gatherings.  It is traditional in Montreal to go out to dinner and a show for New Years Eve, as an alternative to staying home with family.  There are fireworks and party goers everywhere on the streets of Montreal and Toronto. The Montreal streets are still lit up from Christmas.

In Quebec the tradition is a bit different from the rest of Canada.  La Veille (eve) is also celebrated with what is called a reveillonReveillon comes form the word Reveille or waking, because it transpires on the dawn of either Christmas or New Years Day.  At midnight, many Roman Catholics go to midnight mass on the Christmas Eve and come home to a big meal, and presents are exchanged at that point.  However, for New Years Eve, the family still has the big meal and dance and sing and bring out champagne, along with an assortment of wines and fine cheeses.  The meal is elaborate with lots of seafood, such as oysters and lobster and crab, tourtiere (hamburger meat pie), turkey, six pailles (a pie made with six different meats and potatoes), and more.  A Buche de Noel (Christmas log) and St. Honore (cake made with cream and fruit) are also served in Quebec.

France has a similar celebration called the Reveillon de Saint Sylvestre, in fact the Quebec traditions all stem from the French Reveillon.

- The celebrations last the entire month in the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the U.S.

In Denmark, New Year's Eve is called nytarsaften and it is celebrated with a big dinner with close family and friends.  The traditional kransekage,  or Danish Ring cake is served.  Many Danes listen to the Queen's New Year's Eve speech and watch the clock turn midnight in Copenhagen Square and the fireworks begin.

 - Berlin Germany hosts the biggest New Year's Eve, know as New Year's Eve Sylvester celebration in all of Europe with firecrackers and fireworks at the Brandenburg Gate.  They will also watch a theatre production from England called Dinner for One.

  - The people of Hong Kong love to bring in the New Year by looking at the harbour lights and celebrating at Central, Causeway Bay, and Tsim Sha Tsui.  The Time Square Mall hosts its own ball drop celebration for the Times Square in New York celebration.

  - Bollywood actors come out in style celebrating the New Year in the larger cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangladore, Hyderabad and Chennai in India, where there are many concerts and festivities planned for the festive occasion.

- No nation knows how to celebrate New Year's Eve like the people of Indonesia; they have in Jakarta is a music show, the countdown, fireworks and other festivities each year.  The Trumpet sounds off and there are fireworks at the Dago open field and Pasupati Bridge in Bandung, where family and friends appreciate them.

-Olche Chinn Bilana, Oiche na Coda Moire or Oiche Chaille is New Year's Eve in Ireland.  The Irish celebrate along the Liffey River in Dublin.  The celebration is modest compared to other countries. 

-Fireworks go off at midnight in Italy, the president reads his New Year's speech, and people dress in red underwear to bring in the New Year.  Italians traditionally eat zampone or cotechino (spicy sausage and lentils).
Japan's traditions is quite interesting, they clean their houses and prepare Kadomatu and or shimenawa to welcome in the New Year's God, Toshigami.  The bells ring in all Buddhist temples from December 31st to January 1st.  The bells are rung for bonno, a time when Buddhists repent man's defilement's.

 -The bells chime in Mexico for New Year's Eve, the people anxiously await the countdown.  There are traditions such as putting out luggage to insure future trips, making wishes, sweeping out dirt, wearing red underwear if you want to find a mate and wearing yellow if you want money in the new year, and hanging up sheep dolls for luck.

-  In Peru, the people make effigies of political people that are disliked, and stuff them with firecrackers and set them off at midnight.  Peruvians eat twelve grapes, wishing upon each of them to usher in good health for the New Year.  They also wear yellow underwear to benefit from the positive energy of the New Year and they will walk around the block with a suitcase to ensure the ability to travel to their dream destinations in the New Year.

  -In the Philippine's, the celebration is spent with family and friends.  They will wear special clothing with designs, such as polka dots.  The polka dots represent circles that attract money.  Round fruits are eaten for the same reason.  The meat is usually barbecued and there is Hamon or Lechon (roast pig) and again with the circular tradition, the shaking of coins in a casserole.
   Noisemakers, horns, banging of pots and pans are also done to keep away the evil spirits.  There are many parties, complete with fireworks that are hosted by the government or private sectors to celebrate New Year's Eve.

 - Russian's celebrate as a pre-Christmas ritual on New Year's Even, since their Christmas in the Orthodox Christian community is January 7th.  They will decorate a spruce tree, and the kids and adults exchange gifts at midnight.  The also celebrate the upcoming New Year at this time as well.
 - Many countries across the world including Canada and the U.S., have the traditional opening of the house door to symbolically shove the old year out and usher in the New Year.

 - In Spain, there is the wearing of red underwear and the eating of 12 grapes, previously discussed and traditional lamb, shrimp or turkey is served.  The fireworks, the countdown of the end of the year, the parties, and young people going out to the bars and clubs, follow to make New Year's a festive occasion.  The celebration goes on into the early hours of the morning followed by the traditional winter breakfast of chocolate con churros (hot chocolate and fried pastry).

 -The streets are lit up in Turkey, and many concerts and festivities take place including a T.V. performance by the Mehter-Janissary Band that has been around since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

 -United Kingdom-The fireworks go off in London, the Edinburgh cannon is fired in honor of the New Year and television specials are televised throughout the U.K.


   Visitors from all over the world will be playing in the snow and enjoying the winter festivities at one of the biggest winter celebrations that Canada has to offer.  Quebec, Canada has been host to the winter wonderland known to locals as "Carnaval de Quebec", for more than 50 years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future as this year's carnival will see more than 400 unique activities.  It has been dubbed as the "The coolest Part in the World", and why not?  It has all of the offerings that you would expect form traditions Nordic culture, only they have went all out and included events for people of all generations, tastes, and backgrounds.


    The Winter Carnival got its start in 1894 and has grown each consecutive year by updating events and festivities to fit every lifestyle.  Starting at the end of January and lasting up until the middle of February.  Quebec opens its doors for a winter celebration that includes snow baths, glittering night parades, slide runs, ice fishing, concerts, snow rafting, snow sculpture competitions, a canoe race over the frozen St. Lawrence River, horse-drawn sleigh rides, husky powered dogsled rides, and skating.

      Music, dancing, live entertainment, deliciously prepared cuisine, rides and activities are also part of the Winter Carnival.  The activities are non-stop throughout the week, but the special events are typically held during the weekend.  If this isn't enough to tantalize your taste buds, then the city of Quebec itself might be what you are hungering for.  The medieval setting is something straight out of a book as you will delight in seeing everything from the French architecturally designed homes nestled along narrow, winding streets to the colorful and inviting restaurants and shops that demand your attention.  It is truly one of the most beautiful destinations that you will ever have the pleasure of laying your eyes on.

 The heart of the carnival is set up at the Plains of Abraham where the French and British once battled, but is now home to grazing cattle and the Winter Carnival.  A particular favorite is the St. Hubert Derby that easily draws crowds of people waiting to see the single and double championship drivers of the horse team competition.  While other visitors can't wait to chill out in the Ice Palace and see the one of a kind structure made up entirely of ice.  Children gather in large crowds awaiting the arrival of Bonhomme the snowman who  plays as Master of Ceremonies during the snow bath event where daring adventurists play in the snow the Eskimo way, in bathing suits.

   The city of Quebec not only offers fun winter festivities, but it also holds the allure of being the only walled city in North America.  More than 1.5 million visitors find their way to the Carnival de Quebec, and most of them will eventually find their way to the ancient part of the walled city that houses French neighborhoods that closely resemble a European village of sorts.  Brightly lit shops and local cuisine can be found along the heart of the city as well as scenic views of the lake and mountains.


   Now that all of the major holidays are over (Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving), there are still many different holidays and festivals found throughout the United States and all over the world.  I have sent out liaison's to scour the globe to bring you these different festivities and holidays from people like you and me and how they celebrate the rest of the year.  If you know of anything you  would like seen or heard of please leave me a message or a note and I will send out someone to investigate everything  I can find out  about that celebration.  I will leave no rock unturned to find it!  Starting with January and throughout the rest of the year.  I have also not been very receptive to leaving my own comments.  I love reading your comments!!!  I will make it one of my 1st priorities to give my responses to the comments made to my blog, and if you have a blog I am going to come and visit you since you have taken the time to visit me! Please let me know what you think of  the festivals and holidays that I have written about, and if there's something I may have left out. 
   Thank you all for subscribing and browsing at my blog, I hope you will enjoy the stories to come and I hope to hear from you!!! Again thank you for all of the comments and feedback!
"The Doktor"