New Year curiosities and traditions around the world: from Kiribati to grapes and lentils

Confetti test before the end of the year in Times Square, New York (Reuters)

It is 11 am on December 31st in Madrid and so, it is already New Year. Not in this city, not in Paris, Berlin or Rome. Neither in London or Lisbon and, certainly, not in New York or Buenos Aires. but yes i Kiribati And Samoa, populated places that are the first to welcome each new day. Kiribati is a remote place with over 120,000 inhabitants, a sunny island, with a quirky flag where they start their work every day.

They are first and from there the race begins. Gradually, regions of the world will remove the last page of the 2023 calendar. After Samoa, chatham islands, an area of ​​New Zealand, as absurd as it may sound, a quarter of an hour later. Because there are fluctuations and curiosities in time zones.

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The sun moves from east to west and with each move, new areas enter a new year. Although before all this it must be said that the end of the year is still a social convention, a specific event of Western culture, taken as an almost universal reference due to historical issues ranging from colonialism to globalization. There are actually many New Years, as there are different calendars, from the Chinese calendar (which will have a change of year on February 10) to the different dates that they hold. India On the basis of region and religion.

Funny New Year’s phrases (Canva, Infobae)

The New Year offers hundreds of curiosities that fascinate geography buffs. Some of them can be seen in the archive of the Fronteras blog, where geographical and temporal curiosities have been collected over the years. Its authors also commonly announce the change of year on Twitter with each location’s new year, from Kiribati to the Howland Islands, the last blocker of each day, who will start the new day only if it is already the end of the year. Will be on the first island. , 2 January.

Another interesting information about this. Contrary to what intuition might say, Baker and Howland Islands They are actually west of Kiribati. Because in the end time zones are still a political decision and that’s why various oddities arise, like the fact that in China 1,300 move at the exact same time on January 1st. Due to the size of the country, it is supposed to have five different schedules, but by law they only use Beijing time. This creates major problems in the border areas of Central Asia. On the border of Tajikistan, When it’s New Year on the Chinese side, it will still take three hours for the date to change on the other side of the line.

time change of Beijing It is five o’clock in the afternoon Spanish time. Along with entire countries, others such as the Philippines or Malaysia also enter. Among geography buffs, there are probably those who take it most seriously, who try to watch the New Year several times each year. Something that could be very possible in Spain, if you are on the border with Portugal you only have to cross it to achieve it.

In Puerta del Sol, Madrid (EFE)

It is clear that this is not any other day. The world stops, people dress up at night, wait until 12 o’clock and hug their loved ones to show that this date change is, of course, not just another change. These days begin a series of promises that will or will not be fulfilled, and also the balance of all that has been left behind. This is a common practice almost all over the world, but every town has a unique way of doing it. In Spain it is the grape, 12, Puerta del Sol to the rhythm of the clock and with Ramón García or Cristina Pedroche on television. This is one of the most curious traditions, the grape thing is quite unique, but the juxtaposition of joy with the sound of a clock is not strange at all. In times SquareFor example, in New York, a loud countdown is heard that ends with lots of people kissing. It is believed to bring luck, as the invocation of luck also remains constant regardless of time zone.

Noise is very common thing for mankind nowadays. In Japan they welcome the New Year (4:00 pm Spanish Peninsula Time) 108 bell ringing And in Copenhagen, which shares time with Madrid, tradition dictates breaking old dishes to welcome the calendar change. Around the world, fireworks are also quite common to celebrate the date.

Noise and food, which is also tradition. In Spain they are grapes and in Italy they are lentils, which symbolize wealth and abundance. In some Latin American countries it is customary to pack your suitcase for the New Year, after all it is still a wonderful trip. Because the first day of January is just another day, yes, but it has its own quirks.

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