New Delhi: While India and most of the world are still waiting for the clock to strike midnight and welcome the New Year 2024, some countries have already entered the new year with joy and enthusiasm. Among them are New Zealand and Kiribati, two island nations in the Pacific Ocean that are among the first to celebrate the New Year.
New Zealand, which has been praised for its successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrated the New Year with a bang. Thousands of people gathered in Auckland, the country’s largest city, to watch the dazzling fireworks display at the Sky Tower, the tallest structure in New Zealand. The 328-meter-high tower lit up the sky with colorful sparks and patterns, creating a festive atmosphere for the Kiwis.
Meanwhile, Kiribati, a small country consisting of 33 coral atolls, was the first to greet the New Year 2024. Kiribati’s largest island, also known as Christmas Island, is located in the easternmost time zone in the world, making it the first place to see the sunrise of the new year. Kiribati, which is also known as Kiribas, celebrated the New Year with traditional dances, songs, and prayers. The islanders also exchanged gifts and wishes with their families and friends.
Different countries have different customs and traditions to mark the New Year. In the Netherlands, people brave the cold and plunge into the icy waters of the ocean as a way of cleansing themselves and starting afresh. In China, the New Year is celebrated according to the lunar calendar, which usually falls in late January or early February. The Chinese New Year is a time of reunion, feasting, and giving red envelopes with money to children and elders. In Italy, people throw old furniture, clothes, and dishes out of their windows to symbolize getting rid of the past and making room for the new.
The New Year is a time of hope, joy, and gratitude for people around the world. It is also a time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the future. As the world bids farewell to 2023 and welcomes 2024.