New Year's Oddities and Traditions Around the World: From Kiribati to grapes and lentils
It's 11am in Madrid on December 31st, so it's already the New Year. Not in this city, not in Paris, Berlin or Rome. Not in London or Lisbon, and certainly not in New York or Buenos Aires. But yeah in Kiribati And Samoa, populated places that welcome each new day for the first time. Kiribati is a remote place, with a population of just over 120,000, a sunny island, and a strange flag where they start their work every day.
They are first and from there the race begins. Little by little, the world's regions will get rid of the last page of the 2023 calendar. After Samoa, Chatham Islands, which is a New Zealand region, which may seem ridiculous, after a quarter of an hour. Because time zones have twists and turns and curiosities.
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The sun moves from east to west, and with every step it takes, new areas usher in a new year. Although above all, it must be said that the end of the year remains a social tradition, a typical event of Western culture, which has been taken as an almost universal reference due to historical issues ranging from colonialism to globalization. There are actually many new years, because there are also different calendars, from the Chinese calendar (which will see the year change on February 10) to the different dates that are treated in India By region and religion.
The new year offers hundreds of curiosities to fascinate geography enthusiasts. Some of them can be seen in the archive Border Blog, where geographical and temporal curiosities have also been collected for years. Its author also usually accompanies the new year of each place on Twitter, announcing the change of year from Kiribati to Howland Island, the last of each day's resistance, which will begin the new day exactly when he is already on the first island of the year. . January 2.
Other curious details about it. Contrary to what intuition might say, Baker and Howland Islands They are actually western Kiribati. Because in the end, time zones are still a political decision, which is why many anomalies occur, such as the fact that the 1300 in China moves to January 1 at exactly the same moment. The country, due to its size, must have five different timetables, but by law they only use Beijing time. This causes major problems in the border areas with Central Asia. On the border of Tajikistan. When the New Year arrives on the Chinese side, there will still be three hours before the date changes on the other side of the line.
Time change Beijing It's five in the afternoon Spanish time. Besides the entire country, other countries such as the Philippines or Malaysia are also included. Among the geographical maniacs, perhaps the ones who take it most seriously are those who every year try to see the New Year several times. Something that could be very possible in Spain, if you are on the border with Portugal, you just have to cross it to achieve it.
Clearly, it's not just another day. The world stops, people dress up for the night, wait until 12 and hug their loved ones to signal that changing this date is, of course, not just another change. These days begin the praise of promises that will be fulfilled or not, and also the balance of all that remains. This is common almost all over the world, but the way it is done in every city is strange. In Spain, it is the grape, 12 years old, to the rhythm of the Puerta del Sol hour and with Ramón García or Cristina Pedroz on television. It is one of the most curious traditions, the grape thing is quite unique, but matching the joy with the sound of the clock is not at all strange. in Times SquareIn New York, for example, the countdown is loud and ends with many people kissing. It is supposed to bring luck, because the call to luck is also a constant thing regardless of time zones.
Noise is a very common thing in the human race these days. In Japan they welcome the New Year (4:00 PM Spanish Peninsula time) with 108 The bell rings In Copenhagen, which shares time with Madrid, tradition requires breaking old dishes to welcome the change in the calendar. Around the world, fireworks are also very popular to celebrate this date.
The noise and the food, which is also a tradition. In Spain, grapes and in Italy, lentils, which symbolize wealth and abundance. In some Latin American countries it's traditional to have your suitcase ready for the New Year, because it's all still a great trip. Because the first day of January is just another day, yes, but it has its oddities.