Form 8. New Year’s Day in Belarus
People in Belarus celebrate New Year’s Day. It is one of the most favourite holidays for both children and grown-ups.
On this day people see the old year out and the new year in. Traditionally it is a family holiday and family members get together at holiday dinner.
A fortnight before the New Year there is rush and bustle in shops and in the streets. Everyone is busy on these days. A lot of decorations are put up everywhere. Streets and squares in big cities are decorated with coloured lights and ornaments. New Year trees are put up in central squares of all small towns and big cities. In schools and kindergartens there are concerts with Father Frost and Snowmaden prepared by children and pupils . Festive atmosphere is everywhere.
People usually have a New Year tree at home, too. They also buy presents and food, send cards to their relatives and friends. Children decorate their rooms with pictures, baloons and paper snowflakes. They help parents to get ready for the holiday: clean the flat, decorate a tree and help mother with cooking. A lot of delicious food is cooked on New Year’s Eve which is eaten at night. Of course, eating at night is not good for health but such is a custom.
At about 9 p.m. everything is ready and the families are at holiday table. They eat a bit, play games, watch TV and wait for the main celebration which starts at midnight. Sometimes it is not easy to stay up so late, but it is believed that as you see the New Year in, so you will live up to the next year. Nobody wants to oversleep the New Year to come!
Five minutes before midnight all listen to President’s speech on TV, and when the clock strikes 12, people congratulate each other on the New Year, drink a toast and wish each other happiness, health and wealth. Everyone hopes the wishes will come true.
An hour or so after midnight most people go out into the street to the fir tree in their town or village. They join hands, sing and dance around the tree. Others stay at home and watch a holiday programme on TV.