5 crazy New Year traditions of ancient countries you didn't know about

5 crazy New Year traditions of ancient countries you didn't know about

1. Akita

Lions and flowers on the Ishtar gate of Babylon at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Photo: Josep Renalias / Wikimedia Commons

The inhabitants of Babylon, as well as Sumer, Akkad and Assyria once celebrated the New Year in the fall, but later the holiday was postponed to spring. In Babylon of the second millennium BC, Akita began to be celebrated on the first day of the month of Nisan (March-April) and G. Suggs was merry. The greatness of Babylon. The history of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia 11 days in a row, such is the New Year holidays.

Akitu was associated with one interesting G. Suggs. The greatness of Babylon. The history of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia ritual. The statue of Marduk, the highest deity in the Babylonian pantheon, was taken from the main temple and during the holiday was taken by ship to the house of Akita. This is a temple located outside the city walls. Apparently, even God is useful sometimes to get out of the city.

Statue of the god Nabu, son of Marduk, found in the city of Kalhu. The statues of Marduk himself have not yet been found; he has survived only on the bas-reliefs. Photo: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin / Wikimedia Commons

At the head of the procession was the Babylonian king. When the statue was brought to its place, the high priest beat the monarch with a whip, dragged him by the ears, and slapped him in the face. It was believed that if at the same time the king could not resist screaming and crying, the year would be happy.

If the priest was not too zealous and the head of state did not suffer, then his reign was over. Because the god Marduk does not like proud people and people with a high pain threshold.

For the common people, the holiday was more joyful G. Suggs. The greatness of Babylon. History of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia. He opened the sowing and arable season, and was also associated with the tradition of going out of town, inspecting their lands and having fun in the fresh air.

2. Upet-Renpet

Image of Amentet and Ra in the QV66 tomb of Queen Nefertari Merenmuth. Photo: Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH / Wikimedia Commons

Upet-Renpet, this is the first month of the year in the calendar of the ancient Egyptians. It was celebrated when Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, first rose over the Nile after a 70-day period during which it was not visible. It is about mid-July, when the river overflows. And it is at this time that the agricultural season begins for the Egyptians.

Upet-Renpet, the feast of fertility, and What is Wepet Renpet? / Study.com this word is literally like the opening of the year.

The Egyptians celebrated Upet-Renpet with a grand festival, during which they were supposed to drink a lot of beer. This is related to one ancient myth, E. Hornung. The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact on the West.

Once the sun god Ra got up on the wrong foot and decided to destroy mankind no less. It's just that people became morally dissolute, stopped obeying him, and it was necessary to punish them.

Ra sent his daughter, the goddess of war and revenge named Sekhmet, to do this. It is unlikely that anyone would allow the thought that a person capable of creating deserts by breathing cannot cope with some kind of humanity. Sekhmet turned into a huge lioness and began to destroy people in such quantities that the next day after her first attack, the survivors began to die already because E. Hornung literally drowned. The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact on the West in the blood of their fellows killed the day before.

Bas-relief of Sekhmet in the temple in Kom-Ombo. Photo: Gérard Ducher / Wikimedia Commons

Seeing the carnage arranged by his daughter, Ra decided that he was a little excited and asked her to stop. Sekhmet, who was distinguished by her aggressive character, did not obey. Ra realized that he simply could not cope with it. On the advice of the god of wisdom, Thoth, he invited his daughter to take a break from the murders and sip cold.

Ra poured her red beer, which resembled the blood so beloved by the goddess, until Sekhmet drank several thousand jugs. Drunk and losing the ability to maintain an upright position, Sekhmet told the surviving people: So be it, get out of here. I forgive everyone, and fell asleep.

So humanity was saved and he had another reason to thank the wise and merciful Ra. Since then, in honor of this event, the ancient Egyptians held the Upet-Renpet festival, Festivals in Ancient Egypt / World History Encyclopedia, accompanied by dances, music, orgies and, of course, abundant libations. And they gave each other amulets with the head of a lioness and spells inscribed on papyrus to persuade RH Wilkinson. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt will not arrange vengeful Sekhmet in the new year with her usual dirty tricks. For example, don't send the plague.

3. Chunjie

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Malaysia. Photo: Flying Pharmacist / Wikimedia Commons

Chunjie, the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, is one of the oldest holidays celebrated to this day. It is believed to have originated over 3,000 years ago, during the Shang Dynasty.

Chinese New Year is always celebrated very, very loudly. Residents of the country set off fireworks, burn incense, beat gongs, in general, make as much noise as possible. This tradition has a very specific, albeit mythical, rationale for H. Yuan. The Magic Lotus Lantern and Other Tales from the Han Chinese.

Once upon a time in China there lived a fierce bloodthirsty dragon named Nian (the Chinese word 年 means year). Every year he flew around all the local villages, devouring livestock, grain and other goodies. Especially children. The inhabitants of China laid offerings to the dragon outside their doorsteps to appease him.

But once in one village a strange old man appeared who said: Enough to endure this! And promised the villagers that he would settle the issue with the monster. The locals, of course, considered him abnormal, because the whole dragon Researches into Chinese superstitions, several kilometers long, looks more impressive than some grandfather. But the old man lit the lanterns, lit the firecrackers, began to beat the gong, and when Nian arrived, he was so dumbfounded by the noise that he decided to run away from sin.

After a while, Nian got hungry and risked returning to the village. The elderly liberator again greeted him with fireworks, but this time the dragon was not intimidated. Nian was about to swallow the old man, but he asked to let him undress first, because eating people with rags is tasteless. The dragon agreed, and the old man took off his clothes, which revealed red underwear.

Dragon Dancers in Taiwan. Photo: 蔡 滄 龍 / Wikimedia Commons

Nanny had a weak spot, chromatophobia. The dragon hated red. With a cry he flew away. And his opponent taught the people of China to burn red lanterns and fireworks, beat gongs and wear red cloaks to scare away the Nanny in the future. The old man's name was Hongjun Laozu, he was a legendary mythical The Origin of Lunar New Year and the Legend of Nian / Ancient Origins Taoist monk.

Wore Hongjun naturally not a Victoria's Secret lace set, but Chinese shorts Did ancient Chinese wear underwear under their skirts / dresses? / Quora dubi-kun. Just red.

It is because of this story that Chinese New Year is a celebration of all shades of red. People decorate houses with red lanterns, give loved ones red paper envelopes with wishes and money, cover windows with red cloth, write congratulations on red paper, and wear red clothes. It still works: although there are plenty of Nanny figures set in action by dancers on the festive streets, that very dragon was never seen again.

4. Samhain

Fortune-telling with tossing apples on Samhain. Drawing by Daniel McLease, 1833

Samhain, the festival of the ancient Celts, commemorating P. Monaghan. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore is the end of the harvest and the beginning of the dark half of the year, when it is cold and scary. It was celebrated on the night of October 31 to November 1. From this holiday, as you understand, Halloween took place centuries later.

Samhain began to be celebrated back in the Neolithic era, and it was associated with bonfires and sacrifices. Strictly speaking, historians are still arguing R. Hutton. Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, whether it be considered a Celtic New Year, because Imbolc (February 1), Beltane (May 1) or Lugnasad (August 1) could also have been. But Samhain was most likely the most significant of them all.

On this night, both the spirits of ancestors and all kinds of evil spirits roamed the earth. The first had to be fed at the festive table, and the second had to be frightened off with iron and salt. Otherwise, both of them will do you very badly. At this time, it was also customary to carry out rituals to calm the dead and tell legends about ancestors at night so that they would understand that they were not forgotten. And also to carry out various fortune-telling, because spirits can help to look into the future.

The Celts tried P. Monaghan on the night of November 1. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore dress up as scary as possible. At the very least, turn your clothes inside out. If you are lucky, the dead will take for their own and will not offend.

The mummers gathered in a crowd, took with them a horse skull on a stick and walked with it through the villages. The ceremony was called the Gray Horse. Those who came to this horse had to feed both it and those who lead it.

Typical Celtic New Year decoration. Drawing: Rhŷn Williams / Wikimedia Commons

Otherwise, the mummers began to insult the owners of the house, and in verse, and they had to answer them in the same way. The young men who walked with the horse wore women's clothing, and the girls, men's.

But carving Jack's famous pumpkin lamp is not such an ancient tradition. The first similar flashlights and masks were started by R. Hutton. Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain made from turnips, rutabagas or fodder beets only in the 19th century.

5. Saturnalia

Saturnalia. Painting by Antoine-Francois Callet, 1783

For a long time, the ancient Romans celebrated the New Year on March 1. However, Julius Caesar, who came to power, introduced his own, Julian calendar, in which the countdown of days started from January 1. They began to celebrate as early as December 17, so as not to torment themselves with agonizing anticipation. The celebrations from the 17th to the 23rd were called Saturnalia, in honor of the god Saturn, the patron saint of agriculture. At this time, all farm work was coming to an end and people were resting.

On Saturnalia, the Romans exchanged gifts, drank and had fun. Among the presents were S. Blake. Martial's Natural History: The and and Pliny's Encyclopedia / Arethusa piggy banks, combs, toothpicks, hats, hunting knives, axes, various lamps, balls, perfume, pipes, live pigs, sausage, parrots, tables, cups, spoons, garments, figurines , masks and books. The rich could give away slaves or exotic animals such as lions. It was considered good form not only to make a gift, but also to attach your own short poem to it.

The famous poet Catullus somehow got R. Ellis. A Commentary on Catullus is a collection of bad poems by the worst poet of all time from a friend, that's the joke of the Romans.

Gambling, which was frowned upon in normal times, was allowed on the Saturnalia. The celebrants also chose Tacitus. The Annals of the King and Queen of the celebration from among the guests by lot, and their orders like Throw this in cold water! or Strip naked and sing! had to be performed unquestioningly.

Janus and the Moiraes of Luca Giordano, 1682-1685. Detail from Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

After Saturnalia, on January 1st, SJ Green was celebrated. Ovid, Fasti 1: A Commentary day of the two-faced god Janus, when all the wishes, according to the Romans, came true. People gave each other figs and honey and exchanged good words. And they brought sweets and money to the temple to Janus to appease him, as he patronized in new beginnings.

But that day was not a day off. The Romans argued that at least a little work needed to be done, as idleness was considered a bad omen for the rest of the year.