Zoroastrian New Year (Jamshedi)

New year is coming soon, let us all begin planning on the excitement and variety we can venture upon to welcome the new year. Ushering the new year with family or with friends in some special ways such as by organizing special party themes or setting out new year cruises can be memorable and prove to one of the most enjoyable moments of our lives.

Hindu New Year

Celebration of the Hindu New Year varies based on geographic location. Most Hindus live in India, but many have different traditions. For example, the Hindus of Gujarat, inwestern India, celebrate the New Year at the end of October, at the same time as the Indianfestival of Diwali. For the Diwali celebration, small oil lights are lit allalong the rooftops. In northern India, people wear flowers to celebrate the New Year, commonly in pink, red, purple,or white hues. Hindus in central Indiadisplay orange flags, flying them from the top of buildings. In southern India, mothers put food, flowers, and small gifts on a special tray. On New Year's morning, children must keep their eyes shut until they have been led to thetray.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year is a lunar holiday that begins with thearrival of the second new moon following the winter solastice. It usuallystarts between mid-January and mid-February, (date varies) and lasts forfifteen days. As the New Year approaches, people clean their home to escape badluck in the upcoming year. Families gather for a feast on New Year's Eve, andstay up late, believing that it will prolong the lives of their elders. TheChinese people believe that evil spirits come around at New Year, so they letoff firecrackers to frighten them away. People often seal their windows anddoors with paper to keep the evil spirits out, as well.

On New Year's Day, people dress in their best clothes andpresent one another with small gifts. Chinese people all over the worldcelebrate the first full moon with a colorful street procession, called the Festival of Lanterns. People fill the streets carrying lanterns and join agreat parade led by an enormous dragon. The Festival of Lanterns is believed tolight the way for the New Year.