Till I began touring to many different nations, it by no means occurred to me that the New Yr is well known at many different instances in the course of the 12 months apart from January 1. As I’ve talked about in earlier articles, my husband and I are retired and slow-traveling the world. We make journey movies for our YouTube journey channel Far Away Now (previously Over the Hill and Far Away).
We now have been making our means round Southeast Asia for 9 months now. This has provided us many nice experiences and fantastic reminiscences. We all the time attempt to soak up the tradition and take part on any celebrations the place we really feel it’s applicable and welcomed.
It has been particularly fascinating as we simply had our fourth New Yr’s celebration within the final seven months. Totally different cultures rejoice New Yr’s at many alternative instances. Some use the Gregorian calendar like we do within the West, some use the Lunar or Photo voltaic calendars, and a few use the Buddhist calendar, for a number of examples.
We encountered our first New Yr’s celebration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October. This was for Deepavali, additionally known as Duwali, or the Hindu Competition of Lights. Deepavali celebrates the sweetness and goodness of life, the triumph of fine over evil, gentle over darkness, and hope over despair. An official authorities vacation, October 24 marked the day, however the celebrations have been a weeklong occasion.
Every day has a distinct significance, with the fourth day being the primary day of the New Yr within the Vikram Samvat calendar. Authorities buildings, procuring malls, companies, and houses had lovely rangoli (sand work) accomplished in shiny colours on show on the ground close to their entry methods. Celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jainists, and Newar Buddhists, the celebrations are household and residential centered.
Festivities embrace household gatherings to gentle the house, prayer, fireworks, and feasting. Household, buddies, and enterprise associates alternate presents and are inspired to rid themselves of hate, anger, and jealousy.
Malaysia is a cultural melting pot of Malay, Chinese language, and Indian peoples, and the Little India part of Kuala Lumpur was spectacularly adorned. For those who’re as massive a fan of Indian meals as I’m, I don’t even have to say extra concerning the fantastic delicacies.
Our second New Yr’s was celebrated in very a lot the standard means. We celebrated on December 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was just about the identical kind of New Yr’s Eve we might have had again within the U.S.
We went out for a pleasant dinner, adopted by a drink and a few stay music. There have been events taking place in lots of bars and eating places and phases arrange with stay music at totally different venues, however we headed again to our Airbnb condo.
Our balcony on the twenty sixth ground gave us an awesome vantage level to look at the fireworks going off across the metropolis. Identified worldwide for its procuring malls, there’s a lot extra to see and do in Kuala Lumpur than store. Please take a look at our video of Kuala Lumpur.
Our third New Yr’s celebration happened in Hoi An, Vietnam. This UNESCO World Heritage Metropolis is gorgeous any time of 12 months. With its beautiful golden yellow French colonial buildings and streets strung with silk lanterns, the extra New Yr’s decorations actually despatched it excessive.
Adorned for the Lunar new 12 months of Tet, or Chinese language New Yr, the entire city was coated in recent flowers and potted Mandarin orange timber loaded with tiny oranges. In China, it’s the Yr of the Rabbit, however Vietnam celebrates the Yr of the Cat.
This can be a very household centered vacation, and most of the people attempt to return to their hometown to rejoice. Tet is a weeklong celebration with events and fireworks each night time. A giant stage was arrange about two blocks from our resort that includes stay performances each night time of both standard bands, cultural performances, comedians, or native faculty orchestras and choirs.
Meals distributors line the market streets each night time, however they took it up a notch for Tet and the meals was phenomenal! See our video of Hoi An here. For those who’re ever considering of touring Vietnam, Hoi An is a should see.
Our fourth New Yr’s celebration simply occurred in Bangkok, Thailand. The Songkran Competition, or the water competition, celebrates the Buddhist New Yr. The water competition began within the thirteenth century as a ritual purification to start out the New Yr with a clear soul, residence, and physique.
In some way, over the centuries, it has change into one of many largest water celebrations on the earth. We undoubtedly needed to affix in on this and one of many guidelines is that you simply’re imagined to put on shiny colours for luck within the New Yr. Distributors promoting brightly coloured flowered shirts arrange a number of days earlier than the competition. In addition they began promoting water weapons of all configurations and dimensions.
Round 11:00 am we placed on our colourful shirts and headed out. We purchased water weapons and headed to the designated space in our neighborhood, the streets have been blocked off to site visitors, and the enjoyable started. Distributors with large barrels of chilly water arrange alongside the road to refill folks’s water gun for concerning the equal of 5 cents.
At first it was simply children that may run up and squirt whoever they acquired, giggle, get squirted again, then they’d run off, shouting, “Comfortable Songkran.” As extra folks began to show up, it rapidly grew to become a full-on water dousing. There have been folks from all around the world and from all age teams.
Solely three teams are off limits to being doused: infants, the very aged, and monks. And there have been loads of senior residents in on the motion too. It was all nice enjoyable and never mean-spirited in any means. 4 hours later, again at our resort, we have been fully soaked, worn out, and joy-filled.
It was simply good, clear, foolish enjoyable, and it carried on till midnight. The group was very welcoming and quite a lot of enjoyable; I’m so glad we participated.
The water dousing takes place each day of the competition. Are you continue to up for a very good quaint squirt gun battle?
The primary day of the competition was April 13, that is designated for cleansing the house. Sweeping out the previous 12 months and any unhealthy luck, making it able to obtain good luck within the new 12 months.
The second day of the competition, folks put together meals and choices to be given to monks the next day. It is usually a day to pay respect to your elders and get their blessings. This new 12 months follows the Buddhist calendar, so on Friday, April 14 when the solar moved from Aries into Items, the 12 months modified to 2567. They are surely on a distinct calendar!
The third day folks go to their native temples and current meals and clothes to the monks. They obtain blessings and take part in rituals for good luck within the new 12 months.
Have you ever ever participated in one other tradition’s vacation celebration? In that case, what did you study? Are you planning on visiting one other nation and studying about their tradition this 12 months?