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Old 12-31-2011, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Live in NY State, work in CT
9,034 posts, read 14,821,509 times
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I posted something like this exactly a year ago and didn't get much response, so I want to try again.

When they were doing all the "2000" celebrations on CNN and ABC around the world, I noticed that one country was noticeably absent from it, and that was Israel (except for showing fireworks being done by Palestinians in the West Bank). I'm Jewish and it still surprised me.

I know that the origins of New Year's are Christian and religious, but on that showing (and as I learned, every year for that matter) many countries that are not Christian (i.e. the Arab world, the Far East (especially China and Japan)) do public New Year's Eve celebrations and even have Jan. 1 as a national holiday. I did read that in Israel those who do anything celebratory on the day call it "Sylvester" after some saint in the 4th century (though those celebrating are usually Jewish immigrants from North America and western Europe who don't do anything religious with the day), I guess just some way to not call it "New Year" in order to respect Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish religious new year. For example, a restaurant in Tel Aviv might call it a "Sylvester celebration" is what I read.

In the US virtually every Jewish person I know of except for the Hasidim and many (but not all) Orthodox celebrate tonight/today, even though none (I know of) celebrate Christmas (at least in overt terms like having a tree and presents at home, etc.).

Obviously, the Gregorian calendar is what most of the world uses for business, etc. (even in Israel) so having a secular Dec 31/Jan 1 holiday makes sense even in the non-Christian world, whereas Christmas wouldn't.

So I'm pretty curious about this and hope that maybe someone on here who lives or lived in Israel would know (or just knows in general). Like is anything at all done on TV regarding New Year's Eve? Or do people who go to restaurants or private parties go into work the next day (and are careful not to drink much or at all?).

Oh and Happy New Year to all and best wishes for a great 2012.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,107 posts, read 54,597,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Wishes View Post
I posted something like this exactly a year ago and didn't get much response, so I want to try again.

When they were doing all the "2000" celebrations on CNN and ABC around the world, I noticed that one country was noticeably absent from it, and that was Israel (except for showing fireworks being done by Palestinians in the West Bank). I'm Jewish and it still surprised me.

I know that the origins of New Year's are Christian and religious, but on that showing (and as I learned, every year for that matter) many countries that are not Christian (i.e. the Arab world, the Far East (especially China and Japan)) do public New Year's Eve celebrations and even have Jan. 1 as a national holiday. I did read that in Israel those who do anything celebratory on the day call it "Sylvester" after some saint in the 4th century (though those celebrating are usually Jewish immigrants from North America and western Europe who don't do anything religious with the day), I guess just some way to not call it "New Year" in order to respect Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish religious new year. For example, a restaurant in Tel Aviv might call it a "Sylvester celebration" is what I read.

In the US virtually every Jewish person I know of except for the Hasidim and many (but not all) Orthodox celebrate tonight/today, even though none (I know of) celebrate Christmas (at least in overt terms like having a tree and presents at home, etc.).

Obviously, the Gregorian calendar is what most of the world uses for business, etc. (even in Israel) so having a secular Dec 31/Jan 1 holiday makes sense even in the non-Christian world, whereas Christmas wouldn't.

So I'm pretty curious about this and hope that maybe someone on here who lives or lived in Israel would know (or just knows in general). Like is anything at all done on TV regarding New Year's Eve? Or do people who go to restaurants or private parties go into work the next day (and are careful not to drink much or at all?).

Oh and Happy New Year to all and best wishes for a great 2012.
Happy New Year to you, too.

That's interesting about Israel. Never knew that.

My daughter is in China, and while they also have their own New Year according to their own calendar (coming up in a few weeks), people also celebrate the January 1st day now with the rest of the world. They don't shut down or anything for Christmas and western New Years but they decorate the malls and public places with commercial Christmas stuff and people go out and party Dec. 31/Jan. 1.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:14 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Here in Slovakia New Year is also called Silvester, and I think it's the same in German speaking countries, so perhaps that's where it's coming from. In our names day calendar, the name Sylvester is on the 31st December.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:15 AM
 
32,089 posts, read 32,994,562 times
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In Israel January 1st is a normal work day. The official new year in Israel is celebrated according to the Jewish calendar in the early fall. One should remember that there is no full separation between state and religion in Israel and Israel sees itself as a Jewish state. Therefore there is no official celebration of the secular new year.
During the 1990s after the break-up of the U.S.S.R. and the mass immigration to Israel of Jews from the U.S.S.R., there are more private celebrations of the secular new year than there used before that (as that group brought their custom of celebrating the secular/Christian new year with them).
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Live in NY State, work in CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Happy New Year to you, too.

That's interesting about Israel. Never knew that.

My daughter is in China, and while they also have their own New Year according to their own calendar (coming up in a few weeks), people also celebrate the January 1st day now with the rest of the world. They don't shut down or anything for Christmas and western New Years but they decorate the malls and public places with commercial Christmas stuff and people go out and party Dec. 31/Jan. 1.
I know they also do fireworks in Beijing at midnight, have seen it on TV yesterday and in past years....
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,833,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCostello View Post
Here in Slovakia New Year is also called Silvester, and I think it's the same in German speaking countries, so perhaps that's where it's coming from. In our names day calendar, the name Sylvester is on the 31st December.
Most of Europe calls it Silvester.
I spent silvester in France.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:17 AM
 
12,704 posts, read 14,085,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chielgirl View Post
Most of Europe calls it Silvester.
I spent silvester in France.
Here in Portugal it is called Réveillon, though people wish each other, "Feliz ano novo." However, written references to it - adverts, etc. always seem to use Réveillon to refer to it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 24,833,048 times
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Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
Here in Portugal it is called Réveillon, though people wish each other, "Feliz ano novo." However, written references to it - adverts, etc. always seem to use Réveillon to refer to it.
That's pretty cool.
In Czech, France, Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland I've seen it referred to as silvester.
Good to learn a new name for it. I hope you revelled for Reveillon!
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Live in NY State, work in CT
9,034 posts, read 14,821,509 times
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Found an interesting article in an Israeli newspaper about the whole deal, including the hypocrisy of calling it "Sylvester" when the reason for "hiding" it is "religious":

The hypocrisy of turning New Year's Eve in Israel into a nonevent - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

I have to admit, I'm not sure the idea (indirectly advocated in the article) of using New Year's to have a "secular Christmas" celebration in Israel the way China and Japan have recently (and which according to this article is what Russian immigrants to Israel do as Chava61 noted) is a good idea......couldn't Israelis just go to Bethlehem, etc. to observe others celebrations it the way many Jews in the US might go to see the NY City store windows or the Rockefeller Center tree without having one in their house, etc. (my wife's family had a tradition of doing this on Christmas Eve since the city was "quiet" and there was nothing to do that night.....we did this with our kids this year and I was surprised at how many marvelling the tree were Hasidim and "modern Orthodox"). I'm thinking why Israel just doesn't have a "secular" New Years like the rest of the world, I can understand why they wouldn't have "Christmas" even if China and Japan sort of do.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:10 PM
 
32,089 posts, read 32,994,562 times
Reputation: 14956
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Wishes View Post
Found an interesting article in an Israeli newspaper about the whole deal, including the hypocrisy of calling it "Sylvester" when the reason for "hiding" it is "religious":

The hypocrisy of turning New Year's Eve in Israel into a nonevent - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

I have to admit, I'm not sure the idea (indirectly advocated in the article) of using New Year's to have a "secular Christmas" celebration in Israel the way China and Japan have recently (and which according to this article is what Russian immigrants to Israel do as Chava61 noted) is a good idea......couldn't Israelis just go to Bethlehem, etc. to observe others celebrations it the way many Jews in the US might go to see the NY City store windows or the Rockefeller Center tree without having one in their house, etc. (my wife's family had a tradition of doing this on Christmas Eve since the city was "quiet" and there was nothing to do that night.....we did this with our kids this year and I was surprised at how many marvelling the tree were Hasidim and "modern Orthodox"). I'm thinking why Israel just doesn't have a "secular" New Years like the rest of the world, I can understand why they wouldn't have "Christmas" even if China and Japan sort of do.
Bethlehem is under the Palestinian Authority. So it isn't practical for the average Israeli to go there at this point.
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