Japanese children are hiding under a pillow a picture of a sailboat, on which seven fairy wizards are floating – seven patrons of happiness.
Ice palaces and castles, huge snow sculptures of fairy-tale heroes decorate the northern Japanese cities on New Year’s Eve. One hundred and eight bells announce the arrival of the New Year in Japan. According to a long-held belief, every chime “kills” one of human vices. They are, as the Japanese believe, only six (greed, anger, stupidity, levity, indecision, envy), but each has 18 different shades – that’s how the Japanese bell tolls.
In the first seconds of the New Year quotes you should laugh – it should bring good luck. And in order for happiness to come into the house, the Japanese decorate it, more precisely the front door, with sprigs of bamboo and pine – symbols of longevity and loyalty. Pine represents longevity, bamboo – loyalty, and plum – vitality.
The food on the table is also symbolic: long macaroni is a sign of longevity, rice is prosperity, carp is strength, and beans are health. In each family, they prepare New Year’s treats of mochi – buns, flatbreads, rice flour buns.
And in the morning, when the New Year comes into its own, the Japanese leave their houses on the street – to meet the sunrise. In the houses they put branches decorated with mochi balls – a New Year tree of motibana. Japanese Father Frost’s name is Segatsu-san – Mr. New Year. The girls’ favorite New Year’s entertainment is a frivolous game, and the boys launch a traditional kite during the holiday.
In Japan, among the New Year’s accessories such amulets for good luck, like a rake, are in great demand. Every Japanese believes that it is necessary to have them so that on the New Year there is something to rake in happiness. Bamboo rakes – kumada – are made from 10 cm to 1.5 m in size and are decorated with various drawings and talismans. In order to appease the Deity of the Year, which brings happiness to the family, the Japanese build small gates of three bamboo sticks, to which pine branches are tied, in front of the house. More prosperous people buy dwarf pine, bamboo sprout and a small plum or peach tree that blooms.
In China, in the New Year’s Eve, countless small lanterns are lit on the streets and squares.
And in different parts of India, the New Year is celebrated at different times of the year. In the beginning of summer – the holiday of Lori. Children pre-collect dry branches, straw, and old things from the house. In the evening, make great fires around which they dance and sing.
And when autumn comes, they celebrate Diwali – the festival of lights. Thousands of lamps are placed on the roofs of houses, on the window-sills, and they are lit on a festive night. The girls are floating on the small boats, which are also lit lights.
In Nepal, the New Year is celebrated with the sunrise. At night, when the moon is full, the Nepalese make huge bonfires and throw unnecessary things into the fire. The next day begins the festival of colors, and then the whole country turns into a huge rainbow. People paint themselves faces, hands, breasts with an unusual pattern, and then they dance and sing songs on the streets.
The New Year in Vietnam is unusually called: New Year quotes, Spring Festival, Tet – all these are the names of the most cheerful Vietnamese holiday. The symbol of the New Year is the branches of the burgeoning peach, they should be in every home. Children are looking forward to midnight when you can start firing small homemade crackers.
In Burma, the New Year comes between April 12 and 17. About the exact day of the celebration informs the Ministry of Culture with a special order, and the holiday lasts three days.
According to ancient beliefs, the gods of rain live on the stars. Sometimes they gather on the edge of the sky to play with each other. And then it rains on the land, which promises a rich harvest. In order to gain the favor of star spirits, the Burmese invented a competition – tug-of-war. They are attended by men of two villages, and in the city – two streets. And women and children applaud and shout, urging lazy rain spirits.