The Burmese New Year, which is based on the Fixed Zodiac system, falls on or around April 16. In Burma there is a three day New Year festival called Maha Thingyan, which is celebrated with prayers, fasting and fun.
During the festivities, buildings and temples are washed, and people throw water over each other. This is partly to welcome the heavy rains of the coming monsoon season. The Burmese New Year festival is held to celebrate the New Year, by performing meritorious deeds and spraying one another with Thingyan water.
The people of Cambodia use the Indian Calendar to calculate the start of the New Year festival. The festival starts on the 12, 13 or 14 April according to the Gregorian calendar and lasts for three days.
Cambodian New Year’s Eve is the day before whichever date it is and it lasts three days. It is called Chaul Chnam Thmey, which means entering the New Year.
In Denmark it is a good sign to find your door heaped with a pile of broken dishes at New Years. Old dishes are saved year around to throw them at the homes where their friends live on New Years Eve. Many broken dishes were a symbol that you have many friends.
New Year’s Eve is framed by two important items broadcast on television and radio, respectively the monarch’s New Year Speech at 6pm and the striking of midnight by the Town Hall Clock in Copenhagen, which marks the start of the new year.
The Chinese New Year “Yuan Tan” takes place between January 21 and February 20. The exact date is fixed by the lunar calendar, in which a new moon marks the beginning of each new month.
For the Chinese New Year, every front door is adorned with a fresh coat of red paint, red being a symbol of good luck and happiness. Although the whole family prepares a feast for the New Year, all knives are put away for 24 hours to keep anyone from cutting themselves, which is thought to cut the family’s good luck for the next year.
In Egypt the New Year is a public holiday and has a very festive atmosphere. Although they know in advance when the New Year begins they still observe the custom of the new crescent moon must be seen before the official announcement is made.
The sighting is carried out at the Muhammad Ali mosque which is at the top of the hill in Cairo. The message is then passed on to the religious leader known as the Grand Mufti and he proclaims the New Year.
The men who have been waiting outside the mosque wish each other a happy New Year by saying “Kol Sana We Enta Tayeb!”