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21 Stunning Photos Of New Year Celebrations Around The World

At midnight two days from now, the majority of the world will be welcoming 2016 around friends and family, cheering to a Happy New Year with festive food, champagne, parties and fireworks. Although most of the world has now aligned onto the Western Gregorian calendar, a few countries and cultures continue to observe different New Year dates and traditions. While putting the final touches to your NYE preparations, take a look at the colorful, boisterous, or spiritual ways other populations will enter their own new year throughout 2016:

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The Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Dragon Parade

Also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, the world’s most famous “other” new year is followed by Chinese communities worldwide and a number of other countries in Asia. It runs from the eve – whose date varies each year – to the Lantern Festival on the 15th of the first calendar month, making it one of the longest celebrated festivals. Image Source: Red and White

Chinese New Year Family Meal

Chinese people’s cross-country and international travels to reunite with friends and relatives for the holidays represent the world’s largest punctual migratory wave. According to tradition, after cleaning their houses thoroughly, families will open their doors and windows to welcome in the Year of the Monkey at midnight on February 7th 2016. Image Source: International Business Times

Seollal – Korean New Year

Seollal Korean New Year Family Reunion

Usually falling on the same day as the Chinese New Year, South Korea’s own Lunar New Year, Seollal, is an occasion for families to get together to share elaborate meals and play ancestral games, often dressed in traditional clothing called hanbok. Image Source: Korean Safari

Losar – Tibetan New Year

Tibetan New Year Losar Festival

The Losar Festival held in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and certain parts of India lasts for 15 days, although celebrations are concentrated over the first three days. The colorful festivities include beer- and noodle-making, prayers, monastery cleaning, ritual offerings, dances, and theatrical performances. In 2016, Losar will fall on February 9-11. Image Source: Make My Trip

Nyepi – Balinese New Year

Nyepi Bali New Year Pecalang Patrol

In March, Bali’s Hindu population greets in the Saka New Year by respecting Nyepi, a full day of silence, fasting, and meditation. The island comes to a standstill as locals and visitors alike are forbidden to work, make noise, use electricity, and seek entertainment. Only a few “pecalang” (traditional security men, pictured above) are allowed to patrol Bali’s usually bustling streets and beaches to ensure that they remain empty. Image Source: Blog.icbali

Nyepi Bali New Year Ritual Parade

The days preceding the Nyepi “Day of Silence” bring much more animation to the island. Balinese villagers perform a series of processions and celebrations, including the Bhuta Yajna Ritual, during which they parade ogoh-ogoh statues made of bamboo and paper meant to represent demonic spirits, before burning them in the Ngrupuk ceremony. Image Source: Photo.sf

Yancuic Xīhuitl – Aztec New Year

Aztec New Year Celebrations Mexico

Following the Aztec Calendar, the Nahua communities of Mexico welcome the Año Nuevo Azteca by lighting ocote (pitch-pine) candles and fireworks on the eve of the March 12th New Year. Ceremonial songs and dances are performed to the beat of drums in colorful folk costumes topped by quetzal feather headgear.

Aztec New Year Seashell Blowing

To conclude the celebrations, revelers burn a flag representing the past year and perfume the replacement one. They then greet the New Year by making noises with seashells, as their Aztec ancestors did centuries ago. Image Source: The Durango Herald

Nowruz – Iranian New Year

Haji Firooz

Usually falling on or around 21st March, this holiday of Zoroastrian origin marks the start of the year in the Persian calendar and the first day of spring – or Equinox – for Iranians and their Central Asian neighbors. The beginning of the festivities is heralded by Hajji Firuz, a fictional character whose face is painted black as a symbol of good luck. Image Source: Tyne and Wear Museums

Nowruz Iranian New Year Fire Jumping

The night before the last Wednesday of the year, Norwuz observers light bonfires and jump over them while singing a traditional song asking the fire to burn the fear in their spirit in preparation for the new year. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Kha b' Nisan – Assyrian New Year

Assyrian New Year Parade

Every 1st of April, Assyrian people all over the world celebrate Kha b' Nisan, the “Head of the Year”, with parades and parties involving traditional costume and dancing in parks for hours. Image Source: Bethsuryoyo

Assyrian New Year Wedding Parade

Weddings are often celebrated as part of the festival. After a long ban on public celebrations by Saddam Hussein's regime, one of the largest Assyrian New Year celebrations took place in Iraq in 2008, attracting 45,000 to 65,000 revelers. Image Source: Bethsuryoyo

Songkran – Thai New Year

Songkran Thai New Year Water Festival

Held between 13th and 15th April each year, the Thai New Year Festival ends with the world’s largest water fight: on the last day of Songkran, the entire country takes to the streets armed with water guns, buckets, and elephants to splash the crowds. Image Source: Astonishing Festivals

Pohela Boishakh – Bengali New Year

Pohela Boishakh  Bengali New Year Festival

On April 14th, this lively festival brings the different religious and ethnic Bengali communities of Bangladesh and the West Bengal Province of India together to party at Boishakhi Fairs. The merriments include parades, plays, puppet shows and merry-go-rounds. Image Source: Huffington Post

Aluth Avurudda and Puthandu – Sinhalese and Tamil New Years

Puthandu Sinhalese Tamil New Year Fun

In other parts of India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia, the Sinhalese and Tamil populations also enter the New Year on 14th April. Their day begins with carefully-timed rituals based on astrological observations. Later, they can indulge in looser partying. Image Source: The Huffington Post

Sinhalese Tamil New Year Cart Racing

In Sri Lanka, Sinhalese and Tamil villagers engage in friendly competitions in games including sack-racing, rope-pulling, and the less conventional bull cart races and coconut wars. Image Source: Metro

Matariki – Maori New Year

Matariki Maori New Year Kite Flying

In late May or early June, kites are flown all over New Zealand to celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year marking the annual rise of the Pleiades cluster of stars. Image Source: Stuff

Odunde – Yoruba Nigerian New Year (celebrated in Philadelphia)

Odunde Festival Nigerian New Year

The mid-June Odunde Festival brings Africans from across the world to the US city of Philadelphia for a one-day street party inspired by the New Year celebrations of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Image Source: Odunde Festival

Willkakuti – Aymara New Year

Willkakuti Aymara New Year

Willkakuti (literally, “the Return of the Sun”) is celebrated by the Aymara indigenous peoples of Bolivia, Chile, and Southern Peru to commemorate the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. On June 21st, Andean locals gather before dawn to wait for the first rays of the sun, welcoming its rise with chants and offerings. Image Source: Concord Monitor


The biggest Willkakuti celebrations take place at the Temple of Kalasasaya in Tiwanaku, where Aymara priests usher in the new agricultural cycle and call for an abundant harvest by making toasts and sacrifices to the sun and “Pachamama”, the Mother Earth. Image Source: Facebook

Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year

Shofar Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year

In the autumn, Rosh Hashanah – or by its Biblical name, Yom Teruah (the Feast of Trumpets) – marks the beginning of the agricultural cycle and the creation of Adam and Eve. Observers sound the shofar, a hollowed-out ram's horn, and eat symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to call for a “sweet new year”. Image Source: Business Insider

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The Most Important Scientific Discoveries Of 2015

Science has made some huge advances in 2015 — how many of these discoveries have you heard about?

Scientific Discoveries 2015 Science Header

Image Source: Flickr

From bionic eyes to 3D-printed implantable bones, science has made some incredible progress this year. Here are some highlights of the year in science in case you were too busy to keep up:

1. Chinese scientists first to genetically modify human embryos.

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Video Of The Day: The Real History Of Kwanzaa

Unlike Christmas and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, and is only decades old.

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The 22 Memorable Quotes That Encapsulated 2015

From the horrors of ISIS and the Syrian civil war to historic climate change talks and a pope that seems to have charmed the world, 2015 saw some major upheavals worldwide, both good and bad. As the year draws to a close, we’re taking a look at some of the memorable quotes that have shaped the national discourse over the past 12 months:

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Memorable Quotes 2015 Emma Watson

On January 23, the actress made these remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. There, she spoke about her "HeForShe" campaign, an initiative to include men in achieving gender equality. Image Source: Flickr

Memorable Quotes 2015 Uber

Tom Goodwin wrote these words in a March 3rd TechCrunch article, in which he considered what the major 21st century business success stories had in common. Image Source: Wikimedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 NDT

Neil deGrasse Tyson composed this tweet on March 24, perhaps in response to climate change and evolution skeptics. Image Source: Twitter

Memorable Quotes 2015 Snowden

In a May 21 "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, infamous security contractor Edward Snowden made clear that mass surveillance is as much of a problem as suppression of free speech. Image Source: Flickr

Memorable Quotes 2015 Pope Francis

In his May 24 papal encyclical, Francis made a number of claims about the environment, poverty, and climate change. Image Source: Wikipedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Sanders

On June 11, the Democratic presidential hopeful said this after being asked what Judaism taught him about politics. Image Source: Flickr

Memorable Quotes 2015 Rachel Dolezal Copy

The American civil rights activist came under fire this summer when it was revealed that she was not black — Dolezal claimed she was — but white. On June 16, responding to public outcry, Dolezal made this remark. Image Source: Wikimedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Trump Mexico

Announcing his bid for president, Trump invoked xenophobia in this June 16 remark. Image Source: Wikipedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Roberts

Many celebrated the June decision which deemed same-sex marriage legal across the country, but in this June 26 remark Chief Justice Roberts attempted to temper the enthusiasm. Image Source: Wikipedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Caitlyn

The Olympics winner (formerly Bruce Jenner) debuted as Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair this summer. Image Source: Flickr

Memorable Quotes 2015 Coates

Police brutality has been on the minds of Americans across the country this year. Ta-Nehisi Coates addresses the topic in his July-published book "Between the World and Me." Image Source: Wikimedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Cecile Richards

Planned Parenthood came under harsh criticism this summer after leaked videos alleged that the family planning center was making money off of harvested baby parts. In response to a since-proven erroneous assertion, president Cecile Richards said this on July 29. Image Source: Facebook

Memorable Quotes 2015 Viola

Viola Davis made history this year when she became the first woman of color to win the best actress in a drama series award at the Emmy's. In her September 20 acceptance speech, Davis had this to say. Image Source: Flickr

Memorable Quotes 2015 Kim Davis

Not everyone was pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. Kentucky clerk Kim Davis made waves this year when she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples following the ruling, eventually landing in jail. On September 24, Davis made this remark, in which she argues that her own cause, Christianity, is also worth fighting for. Image Source: Twitter

Memorable Quotes 2015 Obama Routine

October 1. Barack Obama's words following the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, Oregon, spoke volumes about the lack of gun control in America. Image Source: Wikipedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Malala

Malala Yousafzai garnered international fame after she was shot by the Taliban for insisting on girls' rights to education. She has since turned her stance into a global endeavor, telling National Geographic in an October issue that education was a way to fight against control. Image Source: Flickr

Memorable Quotes 2015 Katie Couric

The journalism veteran dished on the sexism she faced early in her career in one October 12 interview. Image Source: Flickr

Memorable Quotes 2015 Carson

On November 4, it was revealed that GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson held some rather peculiar opinions on the purpose of the Egyptian pyramids. Image Source: Wikimedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Aziz

In a November 6 interview with Variety, the "Parks and Rec" and "Master of None" actor opened up on the issue of race and Hollywood. Image Source: Wikipedia

Memorable Quotes 2015 Obama Pussy

Following the devastating San Bernardino attacks, this conservative pundit had some rather disparaging things to say about Barack Obama. This quote is from his December 7 appearance on FOX News. Image Source: YouTube

Memorable 2015 Quotes Ali

Following the San Bernardino, California shootings on behalf of two Muslims, on December 9 prominent Muslim Muhammad Ali called on political leaders to remind the public that the perpetrators did not represent his faith. Image Source: Twitter

Memorable Quotes 2015 Daniel Holtzclaw

After being convicted of 18 counts of rape and sexual assault on December 10, Daniel Holtzclaw expressed his incredulity at being caught — and punished. Image Source: Twitter

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