New Years Traditions around the World and Their Origins

Picts, Gaels, and Scots: Exploring their Mysterious (and Sometimes Mythical) Origins

Farmer in Ireland Unearths Golden Objects from the Bronze Age

Melpomene: A Tragic Mother of Sirens or a Misunderstood Muse?

Wootz Steel: The Mysterious Metal that Was Used in Deadly Damascus Blades

25,000-Year-Old Buildings Found in Russia

The Druids used the spring new year to celebrate fertlity

April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name,Joanna Gillan.

Old Maps and Hi-Tech Scans Reveal A Lost Citys Watery Past

In Buddhist temples around the world, gongs are struck 108 times on New Years Eve in an effort to expel 108 types of human weakness.

Jewelry from Outer Space: Hopewell Culture Made Beads from Meteoritic Iron

In Spain, it is customary to have 12 grapes at hand when the clock strikes 12 at midnight. One grape is eaten on each stroke. If all the grapes are eaten within the period of the strikes, it means good luck in the New Year.

Recent discoveries at the Temple of Mut showed that during the reign of Hatshepsut, the first month of the year played host to a Festival of Drunkenness. This massive party was tied to the myth of Sekhmet, a war goddess who had planned to kill all of humanity until the sun god Ra tricked her into drinking herself unconscious. In honour of mankinds salvation, the Egyptians would celebrate with music, sex, revelry and copious amounts of beer.

Tiny, 2,300-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy Believed to be a Hawk is Actually a Human Fetus

The Beautiful and Complex Artisanship of Glass-making in the Ancient World

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings.

Island in the Clouds: Is Mount Roraima Really A Lost World Where Dinosaurs May Still Exist?

Creation Myths Hold Hard Facts About Our Ancient Origins

Marriage: Is the Sacred Bond a Result of Social Evolution or Deliberate Design?

25,000-Year-Old Buildings Found in Russia

Archaeologist finds defleshed human bones in ancient religious complex in Bolivia

Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations

Baltinglass Hill: Irelands Forgotten Gobekli Tepi?

The Cerveteri Necropolis, Etruscan City of the Dead

I wish this article on new years celebrations in various cultures ancient and modern had included Jewish New Year. Im quite surprised that Norooz was included, but Rosh Hashanah wasnt. Hmm…

A Matter of Honor? Evidence of Brutal Child Sacrifice Surfaces in Ancient Mesopotamia

Looking for book recommendations for Christian/Jewish/Kabbalah etc mythology

Related Articles on Ancient-Origins

The Rage of Horemheb: Hurried End of Akhenaten, Aye and Atenism Part I

Wootz Steel: The Mysterious Metal that Was Used in Deadly Damascus Blades

In Japan, forget-the-year parties are held to bid farewell to problems and concerns of the past year and prepare for a new beginning.

The Ancient Roots of Christmas Customs

Ten amazing inventions from ancient times

Pharaoh Akhenaten: A Different View of the Heretic King

Island in the Clouds: Is Mount Roraima Really A Lost World Where Dinosaurs May Still Exist?

The Persian New Year, otherwise called Nowruz (or Norooz), is a 13-day spring festival that reaches far back into antiquity, though many of the traditions associated with it are still celebrated in Iran and other parts of the Middle East and Asia. The festival is celebrated on or around the vernal equinox in March and is believed to have originated as part of the Zoroastrian religion. Official records of Nowruz did not appear until the 2nd century, but most historians believe its celebration dates back at least as far as the 6th century BC.  Unlike many other ancient Persian festivals, Nowruz persisted as an important holiday even after Irans conquest by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and the rise of Islamic rule in the 7th century A.D.

The origins of human beings according to ancient Sumerian texts

Stone Hatchet Man & The Troubling Unfinished Journeys to the Spirit World for Native American Bones

North American werewolf real? or just pop fiction?

Residents of Scotland mark the arrival of the New Year with particular passion in a holiday they call Hogmanay that draws on their history of Viking invasions, superstition, and ancient pagan rituals.  Hogmanays origins date back to pagan rituals that marked the time of the winter solstice. Roman celebrations of the hedonistic winter festival of Saturnalia and Viking celebrations of Yule (the origin of the twelve days of Christmas) contributed to celebrations in Scotland around the New Year. These celebrations and other ceremonies evolved over the centuries to become the Hogmanay holiday celebrated in Scotland today.  During the Middle Ages, the pre-existing pagan winter festivals were overshadowed by the feasts surrounding Christmas, and the New Year was moved to coincide with Christian holy days. Following the reformation in Scotland, however, celebration of Christmas was discouraged, and so the gift-giving and celebration that accompanied Christmas elsewhere took place at New Year, giving rise to the uniquely Scottish celebration of Hogmanay.

The Cerveteri Necropolis, Etruscan City of the Dead

The Great Pyramid at Giza and Noahs Ark: Are we coming closer to an understanding of the Ancient Mind? Part I

Evidence for burial rituals has been found dating back 100,000 years and since then numerous examples of funerary customs have been from the ancient world, from Egyptian mummification to bodies…

2,000-Year-Old Mummified Sleeping Beauty Dressed in Silk Emerges from Siberian Reservoir

The Inexplicable Origins of the Ket People of Siberia

Featured image: The parade towards the Ishtar Gate as part of the Akitu festival in Babylon.

In the Netherlands, the Dutch burn bonfires of Christmas trees on the street and launch fireworks.

Bas-relief in Persepolis – a symbol Zoroastrian Nowruz – in day of a spring equinox power of eternally fighting bull (personifying the Earth), and a lion (personifying the Sun), are equal. (Wikimedia Commons)

In Sweden and Norway, it is an almond hidden inside a rice pudding that brings good fortune.

Christmas is a very popular holiday tradition that is celebrated by some 2 billion people worldwide. This popular celebration is of course linked closely to Christianity and is intended to honour the…

The largest pre-Hispanic civilization in the Americas was the Inca Empire and from their capital city of Cusco, rulers known as Sapa Inka (Quechua for the only Inca) controlled a vast territory known as Tahuantinsuyo, which extended from the south of Colombia to the west of present-day Argentina.

Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

about The Unique Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Philippines

Getting married is an age-old celebration, which commemorates the joining of two individuals together in matrimony. For many in todays society it represents picking out invitations, dresses,…

More than One Hundred Ancient Hanging Coffins Discovered in China

Thoths Storm: New Evidence for Ancient Egyptians in Ireland?

The Beautiful and Complex Artisanship of Glass-making in the Ancient World

The revolutionary invention of the wheel

The Great Death Pit of Ur: Mass Human Sacrifice in Ancient Mesopotamia

In many countries around the world, New Years Day is celebrated on 1stJanuary with fireworks and festivities the evening before. But this is not the only type of New Years celebration and not everyone celebrates on 1stJanuary.  Here we look at celebrations to honour the New Year in different cultures around the world.

Chinese New Year and the bloodthirsty beast

Does a hidden garden hold the encoded secrets of the Kabbalists? Hidden away in a cul-de-sac at the base of the towering medieval walls of Girona, Catalonia, Spain, is a tranquil garden. A statue of a long-haired angel stands guard over the entrance, its hands clasped in prayer.

about Archaeologist finds defleshed human bones in ancient religious complex in Bolivia

Prior to the rise of Rome, Italy was inhabited by a number of different peoples. The coastal region of southern Italy and Sicily, for instance, was colonized by the Greeks, whilst the interior of…

about More than One Hundred Ancient Hanging Coffins Discovered in China

The Igorots are an indigenous tribe living in Sagada, Luzon Island, Philippines. The Igorots practise unique funerary customs, in which the dead are buried in coffins which are tied or nailed to the…

The Great Pyramid at Giza and Noahs Ark: Are we coming closer to an understanding of the Ancient Mind? Part I

Ten amazing inventions from ancient times

Spells, Charms, Erotic Dolls: Love Magic in the Ancient Mediterranean

Wootz Steel: The Mysterious Metal that Was Used in Deadly Damascus Blades

Pity for Petronilla de Meath: Irelands First Witch Burning

Were Samsons Superhuman Abilities Really That Far-fetched?

Disclaimer-Terms of Publication-Privacy Policy & Cookies-Advertising Policy-We Give Back-Contact us

about Marriage: Is the Sacred Bond a Result of Social Evolution or Deliberate Design?

The largest pre-Hispanic civilization in the Americas was the Inca Empire and from their capital city of Cusco, rulers known as Sapa Inka (Quechua for the only Inca) controlled a vast territory known as Tahuantinsuyo, which extended from the south of Colombia to the west of present-day Argentina.

Fascinating Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Leprechauns

Khajuraho: The Sexiest Temples in India

Were the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

Khajuraho: The Sexiest Temples in India

Alchemy and Generating Lifeforce Global Temples Made in the Shape of Lingams: Shaivite Bull Cult Part II

It was a well-kept secret among historians during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the practice of magic was widespread in the ancient Mediterranean.

Ethiopian New Year is called Enqutatash and is celebrated on 11thor 12thSeptember, depending on the leap year.  Ethiopia uses its own ancient calendar called the Geez calendar.  The date of Enqutatash marks the approximate end of three months of heavy rain.  Daisies blossom all over the mountains and fields change into bright yellow. It is a period when the old bless the young and the young hope for new prospects. It has also been associated traditionally with the return of the Queen of Sheba to Ethiopia following her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem in about 980 BC.  Enqutatash is a holiday shared among people of all religions and almost all cultures throughout the country. Large celebrations are held, which start from the eve by burning a Christmas tree made out of twigs in front of their houses.  The actual New Years day starts by slaughtering of the animals, blessing the bread and Tella (a traditional brew).

Prior to the rise of Rome, Italy was inhabited by a number of different peoples. The coastal region of southern Italy and Sicily, for instance, was colonized by the Greeks, whilst the interior of…

about Five incredible funerary practices from the ancient world

11,000-year-old Spiritualized Deer Masks Whisper Tales Of A Forgotten World

Discoveries of megalithic cairns and rock necropolises in Southern Germany

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

Were Samsons Superhuman Abilities Really That Far-fetched?

Thank you great historical education

Ancient Egyptian culture was closely tied to the Nile River, and it appears their New Year corresponded with its annual flood.  The Egyptian New Year was predicted when Siriusthe brightest star in the night skyfirst became visible after a 70-day absence, which typically occurred in mid-July just before the annual inundation of the Nile River, which helped ensure that farmlands remained fertile for the coming year. Egyptians celebrated this new beginning with a festival known as Wepet Renpet, which means opening of the year. The New Year was seen as a time of rebirth and rejuvenation, and it was honoured with feasts and special religious rites.

Wootz steel was amongst the finest in the world. It is the metal that was used to fashion weapons such as the famous Damascus blades of the Middle Ages. However, Wootz steel dates back much further…

Allowed HTML tags: a em strong cite blockquote code ul ol li dl dt dd

Melpomene: A Tragic Mother of Sirens or a Misunderstood Muse?

about The Ancient Roots of Christmas Customs

The Legendary Origins of Merlin the Magician

Five incredible funerary practices from the ancient world

171,000-Year-Old Fire Forged Tool Discovered Beneath a Giant Elephant

Wootz steel was amongst the finest in the world. It is the metal that was used to fashion weapons such as the famous Damascus blades of the Middle Ages. However, Wootz steel dates back much further…

The Unique Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Philippines

Baltinglass Hill: Irelands Forgotten Gobekli Tepi?

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

The revolutionary invention of the wheel

Out with the Ouija Board! How the Popular Divining Tool Influenced A Modern Murder Case

One of the oldest traditions still celebrated today is Chinese New Year, which is believed to have originated around three millennia ago during the Shang Dynasty. The holiday began as a way of celebrating the new beginnings of the spring planting season, but later it became connected with myth and legend. According to one account, there was once abloodthirsty creature called Niannow the Chinese word for yearthat preyed on villages every New Year. In order to frighten the hungry beast, the villagers took to decorating their homes with red trimmings, burning bamboo and making loud noises. The ruse worked, and the bright colours and lights associated with scaring off Nian eventually became integrated into the customs that are still seen today. Festivities are now celebrated with food, families, lucky money (usually in a red envelope), and many other red things for good luck. Lion and dragon dances, drums, fireworks, firecrackers, and other types of entertainment fill the streets on this day. Since Chinese New Year is still based on a lunar calendar that dates back to the second millennium BC, the holiday typically falls in late January or early February on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Each year is associated with one of 12 zodiacal animals: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog or pig.

The Legendary Origins of Merlin the Magician

Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

The Ming Dynasty Concubines: A Life of Abuse, Torture and Murder for Thousands of Women

Rh-Negative Blood: An Exotic Bloodline or Random Mutation?

The Secrets of the Kabbalists Garden

The Great Death Pit of Ur: Mass Human Sacrifice in Ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient observances of Nowruz focused on the rebirth that accompanied the return of spring. Traditions included feasts, exchanging presents with family members and neighbours, lighting bonfires, dyeing eggs and sprinkling water to symbolise creation. Nowruz has evolved considerably over time, but many of its ancient traditionsparticularly the use of bonfires and coloured eggsremain a part of the modern holiday, which is observed by an estimated 300 million people each year.

The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history

Fascinating Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Leprechauns

Archaeologists investigating a religious complex in Bolivia have discovered an ancient mortuary where human body parts were boiled, stripped of their flesh, and cleaned. Experts believe the practice…

A cluster of 113 hanging coffins dating back 1,200 years have been discovered on cliff-faces and in caves in Zigui county, Hubei province, close to the site of the Three Gorges Dam in China. The…

Registerto become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of ourmember point systemORjust post your comment below as aGuest.

From Green Man to Bull Son, The Universal Shaivite Bull Cult Part I

Sinhalese New Year is celebrated by the Sri Lankan Sinhalese, while the Tamil New Year on the same day is celebrated by Sri Lankan Tamils. The Sinhalese New Year (aluth avurudda), marks the end of harvest season and is held on 13thor 14thApril. There is an astrologically generated time gap between the passing year and the New Year, which is based on the passing of the sun from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) in the celestial sphere. The astrological time difference between the New Year and the passing year is celebrated with several Buddhist rituals and customs, as well as social gatherings and festive parties.  The exchange of gifts, the lighting of the oil lamp, and making rice milk are significant aspects of the Sinhalese New Year.  In Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Nepal, Orissa, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, Hindu households also celebrate the New Year on 14thor 15thApril.

Creation Myths Hold Hard Facts About Our Ancient Origins

171,000-Year-Old Fire Forged Tool Discovered Beneath a Giant Elephant

The above-mentioned customs and traditions are just a small selection of cultural celebrations that take place around the world.  But there are, of course, many more.

In Greece, the traditional food served is Vassilopitta, a cake in which a coin is hidden inside; whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake will receive good luck during the coming year.

Dragon dance on Chinese New Year. Source: BigStockPhoto

The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history

The various local traditions found in Scotland relating to fires also hark back to the ancient past. In the pagan winter celebrations, fire symbolised the newly resurgent sun coming back to the land, and was believed to ward off evil spirits dwelling in the darkness. Fires still play a major part in Hogmanay celebrations, with torchlight processions, bonfires and fireworks popular throughout Scotland.   Another custom known as first footing dictates that the first person to cross a homes threshold after midnight on New Years Eve will determine the homeowners luck for the New Year. The ideal visitor bears giftspreferably whiskey, coal for the fire, small cakes, or a coinand should be a man with a dark complexion. Why?  The answer goes back to the 8th century, when the presumably fair-haired Vikings invaded Scotland: a blond visitor was not a good omen.

Leave a Reply