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Shout Happy New Year Across Asia!

January 1st, 2009 by

Here are New Year greetings in various Asian languages you can use when visiting the east during this festive occasion.

New Year's Fireworks in Malaysia

Bengali Shuvo Nabo Barsho

Cambodian Soursdey Chhnam Tmei

Chinese Xin Nian Kuai Le

Gujarati Nutan Varshbhinandan

Hong Kong (Cantonese) Sun Leen Fai Lok

Hindi Naye Varsha Ki Shubhkamanyen

Indonesian Selamat Tahun Baru

Japanese Shinnen omedetou gozaimasu

Kannada Hosa Varushadha Shubhashayagalu

Khmer Sua Sdei tfnam tmei

Korean Saehae Bock Mani ba deu sei yo!

Laotian Sabai dee pee mai

Malay Selamat Tahun Baru

Marathi Nveen Varshachy Shubhechcha

Kapampangan (Philippines) Masaganang Bayung Banua

Tagalog  (Philippines ) Manigong Bagong Taon!

Punjabi Nave sal di mubarak

Sindhi Nayou Saal Mubbarak Hoje

Singhalese Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa

Tamil Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal

Thai Sawadee Pee Mai

Vietnamese Chuc Mung Tan Nien

Urdu Naya Saal Mubbarak Ho

In Singapore and other Chinese communities, it is common for families to bring two mandarin oranges to the family they are visiting, as mandarin oranges in Chinese sounds like “good luck”. In Thailand, where New Year’s festival is called Songkram, people roam the streets with containers of water or water guns and drench passers-by with water. The Thai will also visit the nearest Wat (Buddhist temple) to pray and offer food to the monks.

In Cambodia, the Khmer New Year is called Chaul Chnam and is celebrated with a 3-day festival in the midst of April. Cambodians will prepare offerings, light candles, and pray for happiness for the new heaven. In Korea, New Year’s Day is called Seol and it is a time to make offerings to ancestors and drink a glass of gui balki sool, a liquor which is said to clarify hearing all year long. Names of ancestors are written on a special paper called chi bang, which will give power to them so that they can bless their descendants. Family members may also play yut, a traditional board game that is especially popular at this time of year, and eat ddeokguk (a rice dumpling soup) and drink sujunggwa (a spicy concoction of persimmon and cinnamon).

Hong Kong celebrates the Chinese New Year with elaborately decorated floats and stunning performances along Tsim Sha Tsui. Called the Cathay Pacific International Chinese New Year Night Parade, the event will occur on January 26 and will also feature cheerleaders from the United States as well as folk dancers from Mexico. In China, new year’s celebrations last for a month, with the last 15 days of special importance. People will offer prayers in temples, visit relatives, in-laws, and friends, host dinners, hand colorful lanterns and serve delicacies.

The newly established republic of Nepal observes 5 official new year’s days between December to April, out of respect for its indigenous cultures. That’s nothing compared to the peoples of India, who use as much as 30 calendars with as many new year’s days to celebrate. These are enough cause for merriment among the many night clubs, discotheques, amusement parks, and movie theaters across the sub-continent. The best place to party is in the state of Goa, where every town and village host a new year’s ball or gala dinner. Bengalis observe the new year by decorating their houses with flowers and rangolis made from colored rice. Punjabis and Sikhs, on the other hand, get up early in the morning and perform processions throughout the streets, displaying their holy books and carrying out mock sword fights. Among the Tamils in South India, food is given particular attention, such as Maanga Pachadi, a dish made of mangoes, jaggery, neem flowers of different colors and flavors. Gifts between friends and loved ones are exchanged, and houses are given a fresh coat of paint to symbolize the renewal of life.

Finally, the Philippines celebrate the coming of the new year with lots of fireworks, firecrackers, and noisemakers to drive away the demons of misfortune and mischief. A traditional midnight dinner is eaten, and mass is observed throughout new year’s day.

One Response to “Shout Happy New Year Across Asia!”

  1. Widi Says:

    Selamat Tahun Baru that is greeting from indonesia. We are hope in 2009 hope all be better.
    We celebrate new year in Bali, it’s verry impression.

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