How to celebrate the New Year in Africa? Traditions, rituals, history
The arrival of the New Year is always connected with the beginning of a new cycle, a new life, new ideas. Everyone feels this on our planet, but most clearly this is manifested against the backdrop of traditions that are still inextricably linked with nature. This phenomenon can be found in Africa, in the cradle of our humanity. How do they celebrate the New Year in Africa and how does their celebration differ from ours? What traditions are honored by the inhabitants of different countries of the "black continent"? What does the New Year have to do with them? On these and many other questions, read the answers below.
How did this holiday appear here?
The very first script of the New Year in Africa appeared in ancient Egypt. It was here that the world's first calendar was created, which allowed people to calculate time not only for hours but also for months. The New Year was at the end of September, when the Nile flooded and flooded the adjoining shores. On this day a boat was lowered on his water. It was placed statues of the god Amon, his wife Mut and son Khonsu. The boat plowed through the vastness of the river for a month, and after the statue again returned to their churches. In the rest of the tribes of Africa, which did not have a state system, no one noticed the arrival of the new year for a long time. After this continent was turned into a European colony, European traditions also moved here. Because now the New Year in Africa is celebrated on January 1, and traditions have much in common with Catholic.
What is characteristic of modern rituals
Before describing in detail how the New Year is celebrated in Africa, we will consider some aspects of the life of the people of this continent. The most part of the populated territory is below the poverty line, therefore especially here you will not clear up. In addition, men most often live in cities, being on earnings, and women with children remain in townships. For the New Year, families are always reunited. Men bring home generous gifts, ornaments. Children decorate the house, decorate palm trees, juniper bushes, other plants (about how we are Christmas trees). A feast and a feast are organized, where various meat delicacies serve as the main dishes, and home-made hop beer as the main drink. The fact is that the champagne, which is sold here only in the capitals, the local residents do not have the means.
Tanzania and Kenya: features of celebration
In these countries, the most standard in terms of world standards and the New Year's day in Africa is celebrated. Traditions of the New Year celebration are almost completely borrowed from the Christian world. That is, the celebration takes place on January 1, many residents go to the temples for Christmas holidays (as there are many Catholics and even Orthodox here). The difference is that they decorate here not trees, but tropical plants, mainly palm trees. In addition, during the calendar winter, the highest temperature indicators can be traced here. Because in the New Year people bathe in the ocean, windsurfing.
Features of the celebration in South Africa
This country is considered the richest and most developed on the whole continent. But, whatever one may say, only tourists and visitors still live here. How to celebrate the New Year in Africa, where there is such an inequality between the races? The main tradition on January 1 in South Africa is charity. On the central streets of the cities are indigenous people and government representatives. They give out gifts to all those in need and arrange a celebration at their own expense.
West Africa and its tribal customs
In the western part of the continent you can see the most unusual New Year in Africa. Traditions here are rooted in the past millennia, and they are as follows. For example, local residents run around on all fours with an egg in their mouths. It is important not to break and not bite it, nor damage the shell. After the ritual dances around the fire begin, where the tribal chiefs play themselves with special knives. But their wounds are immediately delayed due to ointments made based on local plants.
The newest traditions
We have briefly reviewed how the New Year is celebrated in Africa, and how the traditions of local peoples are intertwined with European customs. Now we will find out which New Year's holiday is traditional for all representatives of the "black diaspora" in the world. This, of course, Kwanza, which lasts from December 26 to January 1. In these seven days, seven candles are lit every evening - one black, three green and three red. In their light, virtues and past rites are discussed that allow Africans to maintain their identity.