Visiting a Shinto Shrine on New Year’s Eve in Akan

On New Year’s Eve, many people in Japan brave the snow to visit Shinto shrines and pray for good fortune in the coming year. Ruthy Kanagy invites us to experience the tradition through her eyes, from making an offering to warming up with grilled mochi and a cup of hot, sweet sake.

Réveillon in Imbassaí

In Brazil, it’s customary on New Year’s to get decked out in immaculate white and offer flowers to Iemanjá, Queen of the Seas. Resident Michael Sommers shares a fun, humor-filled experience of the end-of-the-year holiday.

New Year’s Eve in Ecuador: Embracing Local Culture

Instead of singing “Auld Lang Syne” when midnight strikes in Ecuador, residents set dummies on fire. Read on to learn more about the country’s biggest tradition on New Year’s Eve as Amy E. Robertson shares her experience of the holiday in Quito.

Chun Jie: Spring Festival in Beijing

Chun Jie celebrates the beginning of the new Chinese year. Like most Chinese holidays, its exact date varies slightly from year to year, depending on the Chinese calendar. Author Shannon Aitken discusses the holiday’s traditions and why this may (or may not) be a great time to visit Beijing.

A Merry Cuban Christmas

There’s a good reason that many Cubans have never seen Santa, and it’s not because he couldn’t get a visa—nor that it’s never been known to snow in Cuba. To Cuba’s young, bearded revolutionaries, Christmas was both religious and capitalist at the same time, so the holiday was officially banned. Christopher P. Baker discusses the recent history of Christmas in Cuba and shares his own holiday experiences.

Christmas Celebrations in Delhi

Christmas is not the most feted day of the year for most people in Delhi, but it definitely does not go by unnoticed. Author Margot Bigg discusses holiday celebrations in India.

British Drinking Etiquette

There is no table service at pubs in Britain, so getting a drink is a free-for-all at the bar. If you don’t want to stand out from the crowd, read on for a quick overview of pints, rounds, and whether or not you can order your favorite cocktail.