Listening Transcripts

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Or is it really? On my calendar, New Year’s Day is January first, but that’s not the only calendar. In Western countries, we use a calendar called the Gregorian Calendar. Other cultures count time differently, so they celebrate on different days.

You probably already know about Chinese New Year, which happens sometime in January or February on the Gregorian Calendar. In English, we sometimes call it the “Lunar New Year”, because the Chinese calendar is based on the moon. Chinese families gather together for a big reunion dinner. They also clean their houses, so they “sweep away” the old year and make room for the new one.

The Coptic Calendar is also different. Christians in Egypt use this calendar, and their New Year is on September 11th. This is the day that the star Sirius rises in the sky in Egypt. They have a celebration called Nayrouz. They honor the martyrs, people who died for the church. In Ethiopia, children gather up and hand out bouquets of flowers as a symbol of spring.

Persian people have a New Year tradition called Nowruz. Like Chinese people, they have a spring cleaning and visit family. Some people also believe that what you do on New Years affects the rest of the year—hey, Japanese people think that, too! Nowruz is really interesting, because the date is calculated by the sun. It’s on the day when the sun seems to cross the equator, which we call the March Equinox. It usually occurs on March 20th.

I hope you have a happy New Year, and please remember to wish a happy New Year to all of our friends throughout the world. Thanks for listening!

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