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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How Africa Celebrates the New Year

New Year in Africa's Zanzibar, the New Year in South Africa, the New Year in Mauritius, the New Year in Ethiopia and the Berber New Year in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia are celebrated by eating, dancing, singing, and laughing with family and friends.


How Africa Celebrates the New Year


Zanzibar

Around the 3rd week in July, Africa's Zanzibar Mwakakogwa Festival is a four-day long celebration of the Shirazi New Year. The festivities vary from village to village, but Makunduchi is where the biggest events take place. All are welcome for the festival because it is a local belief that anyone without a guest for this holiday is unhappy.

Around the 3rd week in July, Africa's Zanzibar Mwakakogwa Festival is a four-day long celebration of the Shirazi New Year.

South Africa

The Kaapse Klopse is a New Year’s carnival that usually takes place in the streets of Cape Town on January 2nd, a date known as Tweede Nuwejaar. Tweede Nuwejaar minstrel street parade that goes back to the days of slavery to celebrate the day slaves received off from their masters.


Muslims throughout Africa (the world)

The Islamic New Year on the first day of Muharram, moves from year to year but is usually observed in October and November. Muharram is the month which Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. Muharram is observed by the Muslim community across the world.


Mauritius

In Mauritius, the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is celebrated at the end of January or the beginning of February depending on the year. The Chinese New Year is a time to bring the family together for renewing ties, eating, fireworks and enjoying company.


Ethiopia

The Ethiopian New Year Enkutatash or gift of jewels is celebrated on September 11. Enkutatash occurs on Meskerem 1, the first day of the month on the Ethiopian calendar. Enkutatash is celebrated by ringing in New Year as a family in the comforts of home.


Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia

The Berber New Year is known as Yennayer and is celebrated around January 13th each year. Part of Yennayer festivities is the traditional Timechret, a ritual that honors the saints and sacrifice of cattle allowing villagers to share the same meal no matter what the social rank or economic status.



Africa and the World
Celebrating the New Year, common traditions include attending parties, eating special foods such as black-eyed peas or grapes, making resolutions, kissing at midnight, attending special concerts and performances with the biggest stars and of course, watching fireworks displays. In countless villages, towns and cities, large public events and small intimate events are held to celebrate the New Year.  The New Year brings time for reflection, expectation and hope for a happy New Year ahead. 

 

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