New Year Celebrations Across Neopia
Neopia stands on the brink of a new year, and celebrations are held across the world to celebrate the ending of one year, as well as the beginning of the next. How is New Years Eve celebrated in the various lands of Neopia? What do they eat, what kind of customs do they have, what superstitions do they believe in and what kind of fireworks do they use?
Read on to learn more about the celebration of New Year in a selection of Neopian lands.
Aside from the shopkeepers, who have apartments above their respective establishments, no one actually lives here, but it`s common for Neopets from Roo Island and Kiko Lake and even as far away as Brightvale to come and join in the festivities. The Neolodge is filled with visitors and tourists come to explore Neopia Centrals busy shopping streets, and of course to experience their New Years celebration.
Many Neopians toss Neopoints in the Wishing Well, both as a sign of good luck, and to wish for a joyful, peaceful new year. Throughout the Month of Celebrating, daily donations to the Money Tree and the second-hand Shoppe are made, to help the less fortunate. On the Day of Giving as well as New Years Eve, these donations are handed out to those who need them.
The Breadmaster (the Kacheek baker) sells small cakes that are decorated with bows made from bubble gum tape. The flavour and filling of the cakes vary from year to year, and the tasty treats are popular gifts to be handed out at midnight to a family member or close friend, as a way to thank them for their support and love and wish them all the best for a new year.
The Chocolate Factory sets out boxes of free chocolate for everyone, and Pizzaroo and Hubert`s Hot Dogs advertise good deals on New Years Eve for hungry Neopians.
Early in the evening, the shops close and the Neopians gather in the plaza to watch the fireworks. They all delight in seeing the sky light up with the colourful bursts of light that explode into shapes of stars.
Early in the morning on New Years Eve, they build a great fire up on the Tyrannian Plateau. The council of Elders take turns watching the fire and keeping it burning all through the day and the first night of the new year. The Tyrannians believe that if the fire should get extinguished before dawn on New Years Day, a great disaster will befall them in the new year, so it is of huge importance to them to keep the fire burning bright.
As this bonfire is a symbolic one, no one is permitted to use it for roasting meat or other food, so hungry Tyrannians build smaller fires around the plateau where they can come together and prepare their New Years meal. Fried Trilo Bites are a popular snack. Ugga Melons are also eaten on this special evening, and young Neopets will challenge each other to not grimace as they take a bite of the very sour fruit.
There are several large caves within the base of the rocky plateau, and one in particular is reserved for a special New Years Eve tradition. The walls and roof of the cave are covered in paintings symbolizing an important event that has taken place each year, and on every New Years Eve, a new one is added.
Tyrannia is famous for The Giant Omelette, a huge omelette that bakes in the sun upon the Plateau. A new one appears every day, and many of the inhabitants bring their own ingredients when going to grab their daily piece. On the morning New Years Day, once the great fire has burned down to smouldering ash, one of the Elders will approach the omelette and take the first piece. If it is rotten, it is considered a bad sign, but if it`s fresh and delicious, Tyrannia will face another good, safe year.
Shenkuu celebrates Lunar New Year, also called The Lunar Festival, meaning that they don`t celebrate on the 31st Day of the Month of Celebrating, like the rest of Neopia. Since it`s still a celebration of a new year, it`s included in this article.
More than any other land, Shenkuu is known for their magnificent fireworks display, and they`re also known for starting earlier in the day and keeping it going later into the night. The skies above Shenkuu explode with colour and light, the fireworks even trace out shapes! Petpets such as Pandaphant, Hegelob, Dandan and Juma are popular motifs that are repeated year after year.
Sticky rice cakes, a popular New Years/Lunar Festival dish, are eaten as a dessert or served with tea or coffee. According to Shenkuuvian believes, each year is ruled by a different Neopet in a twelve year cycle. The rice cakes are decorated with chocolate in the shape of the Neopet that will rule the new year. (Y21 is the Year of the Moehog).
In celebration, many Shenkuuvians wear red and gold – their lands signature colours. These colours symbolize luck and wealth, and many believe that by wearing them on the day of the Lunar Festival, the following year will be lucky and propserous.
King Hagan is not known for, nor fond of, grand, loud celebrations. And so, New Years Eve in Brightvale is a more quiet and low-key affair than is the case for most of Neopia. Most residents celebrate in the privacy of their homes, together with their families. More adventurous types looking for a good time travel to Meridell or Neopia Central in order to be part of a bigger celebration.
There are fireworks in Brightvale too, like in most lands, and King Hagan likes to watch the colourful display from the privacy of his balcony. Unlike other places, where the fireworks are in all colours of the rainbow, the fireworks in Brightvale are mostly kept in tones of yellow and green – their signature colours. When Brightvalians look up at the night sky and see the fireworks burst into massive, jagged stars, the very symbol of their country, they feel proud of their land and look forward to starting a new year.
In Meridell, the festivities are big and loud, especially at the castle where King Skarl hosts a magnificent New Years Eve banquet. Unlike his brother, King Skarl wastes no opportunity for a feast, and invites royalty and nobility from all across Neopia to attend.
For the common folk in Meridell, life is tough and many are poor. Most can`t afford lavish dinners, not even during the Month of Celebrating. Luckily, King Skarl is not without mercy for his subjects, and makes sure to donate left-overs and scraps from his banquets to the poor and hungry.
In the outskirts of Meridell we find Meri Acres Farm, where small farms and fields are located. This is where Meridell`s supply of berries and vegetables, such as potatoes and marrow, are grown. Securing good crops for the new year is vital, and the farmers work tirelessly to ensure a good harvest. On New Years Eve, bundles of grain are left out for the enjoyment of various birds. The farmers believe that if a Vullard is the first to eat from it, the next year will bring famine to the land. But if an Albat eats first, the next years crops will be plenty and bountiful.
This little island, located off the coast of Neopia Central, is known for being a joyous, fun place. King Roo loves games and competitions, and is known for throwing grand celebrations. New Years Eve is certainly no exception.
King Roo is also a big sailing enthusiast (living on an island gives him plenty of opportunity to practice this skill) and in the morning on New Years Eve, a great sailing race is held. Both native Roo Islanders and traveling tourists attend. Should a sailor be skilled and lucky enough to beat King Roo to first place, they will sit by His Majesty`s side when King Roo hosts the New Years dinner at the castle in the evening.
The one thing Roo Island is most famous for, is the beautiful Merry Go Round. Neopets from all across Neopia come to visit the island, and few leave without having taken several rides on the colourful carousel. (Many an argument have erupted between friends or siblings over who gets to ride the Pink Uni). On New Years Eve, the ride operator hands out free cotton candy to all visitors, and rides are half off! It`s tradition that a different Uni gets a new, fresh coat of paint every year, so that the Merry Go Round is ever changing.
I hope you enjoyed learning of the various New Years traditions from across Neopia. Thank you for reading, and I wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!