A calendar of New Year’s celebrations around the world



Enkutatash

September 11, 2022

Occurring on Meskerem 1 on the Ethiopian calendar (a solar calendar based on the Egyptian and Julian calendars, consisting of 12 30-day months with a 13th month of five or six days), Enkutatash translates to being celebrated on September 11 on the Gregorian calendar. Meaning “gift of jewelry,” the celebration is believed to date back around 3,000 years to the history of the Queen of Sheba returning home from a trip. Enkutatash celebrations last around a week and are mostly family-centered, with people returning home to mark the New Year together over a meal and a beer. It usually marks the end of Ethiopia’s rainy season when yellow daisies start to emerge across the countryside.

Diwali

24 October 2022

A Hindu lunar celebration, Diwali is a five-day festival of lights centered on a fresh start. The dates change each year based on the Hindu calendar, usually falling between mid-October and mid-November, taking place on amavasya (new moon), the darkest night in the Hindu calendar. There are different customs depending on where it is celebrated, with various gods prayed to, but the theme of light continues throughout. People clean and decorate their homes to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, with entrances of colored sand, rice paste, and flowers. This is the time to visit neighbors and family upstream, with Diwali being celebrated by praying to Lakshmi, sitting down for a meal, and ending with a fireworks display.

Rosh Hashanah

25-27 October 2022

During the Hebrew lunar month of Tishrei, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated on the first and second days of the Jewish New Year. Meaning “leader of the year”, it is a period of reflection, to atone for any wrongdoing throughout the year and to forgive others. A shofar (ram’s horn trumpet) is sounded before and during Rosh Hashanah, as well as at the end of the period, serving as a call to inspire introspection and growth for the coming year. Traditions and customs vary from family to family, but symbolic foods are one of the focal points of this period – pomegranate seeds, for example, are eaten for a year filled with good deeds. Much of Rosh Hashanah is spent in the synagogue or at home.

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