Happy New Year Falcons!

Christmas break is always nice, but it’s good to be back in class with all of you and start 2021! I thought it’d be cool to share some New Year’s traditions and stories. There are a lot of New Year’s traditions that come from around the world, read about them below.

Venezuela: It’s a tradition to eat 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve for good luck.

Lunar New Year: Lunar New Year celebration comes from East Asia. In China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea their Lunar New Year festivals last 15 days. This New Years celebration is based on the lunar calendar (a calendar based on the cycles of the moon).

In China: Communities have dragon dances that bring good luck to the community. The longer the dragon the more luck it brings. Fireworks are used in New Year’s celebrations because the loud noises are meant to scare off evil spirits. On the last day of the festival, some people light lanterns holding wishes or puzzles.

Vietnam: Traditional New Year’s food called “bánh chưng” which are sticky rice cakes filled with meat and beans. Another tradition is to go to Temple and pray.

Korea: “Seollal” is a traditional food eaten at New Year’s. It’s a soup with rice cakes shaped like little coins thought to bring luck and wealth.

India: In some parts of India, people buy new clothes and clean their houses, and decorate with mango leaves.

Jewish New Year: Called “Rosh Hashana” falls in September or October, depending on the year.

Islamic New Year: Muslims celebrate “Hijrah” and it takes place the first day of the first month of the Islamic calendar. Different from the New Year celebrations we have in America that are very loud with fireworks and cheering, Hijrah is a quiet and peaceful day.

These are just a few examples of New Year’s traditions from different cultures and religions. Do any of you celebrate some of these with your families? Which of these was your favorite to learn about?

No matter what traditions you have, the basic idea is the same. As we come into the New Year we are excited to start something new! We often celebrate with friends and family, and make wishes for a bright new year. Making a New Year’s Resolution is very common.

New Year’s Resolution: a goal, something we want to achieve and/or instill in ourselves.

Challenge: I’m challenging all of you to think of a New Year’s Resolution (it doesn’t have to be very hard). Think about something you’d like to set as a goal for yourself. It can be setting a goal in school, at home, or something for yourself. Maybe you want to practice a sport in your backyard with your family. Maybe you like reading and want to make more time to read. Maybe you like drawing and would like to practice your creative skills. Try brainstorming a resolution on your own or together as a family! Write it on a sticky-note and put it somewhere like the bathroom mirror or refrigerator where you’ll see it often to remind you.

Here’s some New Year’s stories.
Enjoy, and Happy New Year!
~ Miss Leah

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