New Year’s Day Isn’t Always January 1st

By Noah Sedmak, Staff Writer

At Falls Church High School, there are students that come from all different parts of the world and come from different cultures. New Year’s Day is celebrated with great excitement in the United States, but this is true around the world as well.  Most of the traditional American focus on celebrating the new year is based in New York, where there is a New Year’s Eve party held in Times Square that is nationally televised on NBC.  Many networks and other media outlets start a countdown clock dozens of hours before the clock strikes midnight to start the new year. When the moment finally arrives, fireworks are set off all across the country.  Different countries and nationalities have differences in the way they celebrate New Year’s.
Hamza Arshed (11) talked about his experiences in Pakistan as a child.  “New Year’s was not celebrated as extensively as in the United States, but there are still family get-togethers to celebrate the New Year.” Pakistan is a culturally diverse country, so New Year’s traditions can be very different from one ethnic group to another within the country.  Most of Pakistan’s New Year’s traditions are religious, and have special prayers and religious congregations.  Pakistan is an Islamic country that follows the Islamic calendar; therefore the New Year starts on a different date than Western calendar. For instance, the current year on the Muslim calendar is 1438, and the year began on October 3, according to the Western calendar. One of the other countries that celebrates New Year’s differently than the U.S., and which has a high percentage of students at our school is Vietnam.
Vi Phan (11) talked about her experience of the Vietnamese New Year she said, “Vietnamese New Year is actually celebrated with the Chinese New Year. In my family, this is a time where we have a big family meeting. I visit both my Mom and Dad’s side of the family. We eat  and play card games.” The Vietnamese New Year’s is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. The Vietnamese New Year is called Te’t Nguyen Dan. The shortened name for the Vietnamese New Year is Te’t. Te’t Nguyen Dan literally translates to “The Feast of the First Morning of the First Day.” Te’t is celebrated the same day as the Chinese New Year, which in 2017 will be January 28.  Te’t is a celebration of pilgrimages and family reunions. Families start forgetting about the past year’s troubles and begin to look ahead for better times.