New Year’s across the IDU

DTNS coverage of how various nations around the IDU rang in the New Year

Laeral welcomed the new year with fireworks and festivities across the nation, although the celebrations were muted compared to those expected for the Lunar New Year in several weeks. In Althea, traditional center of the standard New Year celebrations, masquerade balls were the order of the evening; as is traditional, revelers donned masks in a variety of gilded designs only to withdraw them at midnight. At the traditional Duke’s Ball in Althea, the Chief Minister of the province crowned the 2023 New Year’s Belle at one of the numerous beauty pageants traditionally associated in Arrivée Laeral with the new year.

In Serriel, King Muharrem observed the military parade to review the troops in a decades-old tradition. At the climax of the display, trained paratroopers leapt from transport aircraft to land in perfect formation before the king’s review stand. Elsewhere in Serriel City, many families took to the water in personal or hired boats to watch the jet aircraft fly-by and the fireworks display at midnight.

Despite fears of communal violence in High Fells, the new year’s passed peacefully, with families and neighborhoods gathering to celebrate with fireworks and parades. Although last year’s New Year’s Eve was soured by an outbreak of gunfire in Queensgrace between rival factions of the Southern National Army, a heavy police presence helped to deter such violence, which last year claimed at least six lives. President Kinzinger, speaking to assembled crowds at the Presidential Palace in Queensgrace, heralded a year of security and prosperity ahead for High Fells.

In Lehvant, pomegranates are used as an important symbol of hope and prosperity. Additionally, following the period of French colonial rule, the imagery of smashed pomegranates was used in literature to symbolize Lehvantian society in a state of disarray. Particularly, Amir Askari’s classic novel “Promises and Pomegranates” ingrained this connotation into the public consciousness with its popularly quoted line, “Even as it is shattered, every individual piece of the pomegranate is broken, but whole. Beautiful, but one.”

On new year’s day in 1975, Mehdi Kamran marked his first new year’s celebration as President by smashing a pomegranate as the clock strikes midnight. In his address, he described the pomegranate seeds spilling out of their shattered shell as an image of resilience and hope, telling the Lehvantian people that “though their spirits may have been broken individually, they remain part of a powerful and bountiful whole”.

Since then, Lehvantian people smash a pomegranate at the end of the countdown into the new year in a cathartic expression of the misfortunes of the past year, combined with wishes of prosperity in the year to come. As wealthier households in cosmopolitan cities like Jezairé have opted to pop bottles of champagne at midnight, displays of smashing pomegranates have also become a political expression of class solidarity in urban areas. For families that have achieved social mobility by migrating from rural regions, the image of smashing pomegranates starkly contrasts the image of popping bottles popularized in wealthier households. Thus, continuing the tradition of smashing pomegranates is now also seen as a deliberate rejection of exorbitant displays of private wealth.

Eiria brought in the new year with music and drink. In many Eirian cities, such as Geminus and Merēta, it’s tradition for politicians/celebrities to drop (low-quality) glasses and champagne off of tall buildings during the countdown, so that they hit the ground when the new year begins. It’s frowned upon to do this on your own/without permission, but it still happens (like illegal fireworks on holidays). There were also thousands of large music events going on across the nation.

In Slokais, New Year’s is usually celebrated by taking leftovers from the holidays and making fried rice with whatever meat, fish and veggies are leftover. Usually this is cooked in a big pot, and served to a large group of people. These gatherings called “Fry-ups” are held nationwide. In some areas, people travel around visiting people’s houses, and it is customary to give them tea or small cakes, before they move on.

The Novella Islands was established as a settlement built upon core values of logic and reasoning. As a result, many of the customs and traditions are build around that.

While the Novella Islands do have the obvious internationalised celebrations, like a countdown, fireworks, and so forth, there is one traditional ritual performed. This is going out into the backyard, and looking up to the stars, most often with a telescope. Astronomy, being one of the sciences with the lowest barrier-of-entry to get into, is taught to children from a very young age (an expensive telescope is an extremely popular birthday gift from a child’s parents, for when the child is old enough to use it). The New Year’s Eve celebration of looking skyward gives a chance for the kids to put their education into practice, impress their parents with their constellation knowledge, and in general, come to appreciate the cultural values of science, technology, and advancement.

In Milintica, the new year was celebrated throughout the country at parties and celebrations organized by the governing Milintican Peoples’ Party (MPP). Local party branches, along with schools, local governments and industrial cooperatives, sponsored free celebrations for Milinticans to celebrate the coming year. The largest celebration was held in the capital Huānoch, where President Matōchmizalo gave a speech urging Milinticans to “continue to strive for a socialist world” in the new year.

In Manauia, simple celebrations were held throughout the country to observe the new year. In accordance with local beliefs on the environment, the celebrations didn’t include the fireworks and gaudy spectacles previously observed by the former ruler of Manauia, the Xiomeran Empire. Instead, local communities held gatherings to tell stories, sing and dance as the clock struck midnight.

In both Huenya and Xiomera, the new year coincided with the celebration of Panquetzaliztli. This celebration from from December 16th to January 2nd every year celebrates the winter solstice, and is observed with dance and music. Foot races and mock battles are also staged between rival telpochcalli (schools). Trees are decorated with painted banners fabricated from strips of papel de amate (bark paper), and effigies of Huītzilōpōchtli made from amaranth flour and agave nectar are consumed along with tamales.

Huenyans celebrated their first new year’s as an independent nation following six centuries of Xiomeran rule. Along with the usual fireworks and parties, a definite element of national pride was present. Throughout the country, people celebrated with Huenyan flags and elaborate parades. There were fears that Xiomeran nationalists might disrupt the celebrations with terrorist attacks, but a heavy police and military presence throughout the country kept problems to a minimum. In Chuaztlapoc, Vice-Speaker Tiacihitli told a cheering crowd that the day “marked our first new year’s as a free nation, but by no means our last. Huenya will endure and thrive.” While the new year celebrations were large, they are expected to pale in comparison to the upcoming first-ever Huenyan Independence Day celebrations on January 26th.

In neighboring Xiomera, the celebrations took an even more nationalistic turn than in Huenya. The presence of the ruling Xiomeran Citizens’ Party (XCP) and the country’s ruler, Empress Calhualyana, were omnipresent. Military parades were held in every major city, and all television and online broadcasters were required to carry the official state television celebration produced by the Ministry of Information. The broadcast showcased government-approved performances and speeches by various government officials. In her speech, the Empress exhorted Xiomerans to “remain strong, vigilant and focused on both your own personal success and our collective success in building a new Empire.” Along with the official celebration, another Xiomeran tradition was honored: elaborate and extravagant parties and masquerade balls held by the country’s elite and super-rich.

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