13th January

Orthodox New Year’s Eve

In Russia the church decided it would carry on using the Julian calendar while everyone else adopted the Gregorian calendar because being two weeks behind isn’t awkward at all.

In Serbia this is also called Little Christmas, and is celebrated a bit like Christmas.


In Macedonia, if you stay home, it’s traditional to eat pitta breads but one has a coin in which brings that person luck for the year.

In Gwaun Valley, Wales, it is called Hen Galan and children go round singing in return for sweets.


And just try Googling Switzerland‘s Silvesterklaus in Schwellbrun. They’re proper crazy.


Uruka festival

In India the Uruka festival is celebrated in many different ways.

Bhogi is the end of the South Indian harvest festival, when people discard their old belongings or burn them in a big bonfire, and a mix of harvest fruits, flowers and money is poured over children for good luck.

Lohri is a Punjabi celebration of the winter solstice, despite being on 13 January, and everyone dances round a bonfire (try banghra or gidda) and eats sarson de saag and makki ki roti.

In Assam they celebrate Bihu, when all the men go out into the field and build a house out of hay and a great big fire. Try a bihu dance.

Maldives National Day

Togo Liberation Day (from France in 1960) so try batik with glue or with flour paste.

Korean American Day: so try Korean tacos or bulgogi burgers.


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