Handy SA Blog Guide to Multicultural New Year’s Greetings


(An SA Blog Beta Post from Your Correspondent)

South Africa is well known for its diversity in all spheres, a happy national characteristic that extends even to our calendars. While some locals are die-hard Gregorians, many mix ‘n match their datekeeping systems – which can, it must be admitted, lead to some confusion on New Year’s Eve. What, for instance, should a Jewish person say to a Christian Orthodox on 31 Dec? Even more complicated, how should mixed-calendar households handle new year celebrations?

It seems this is yet another opportunity for SA to lead the way on the diversity front, and so, in the interests of world peace, SA Blog offers this New Year’s Greetings Etiquette Guide.

The guide works like this. If, on Dec 31, 2006 (Gregorian), you wish to greet X, say Y, loudly, in X‘s ear.

Christian Orthodox
| HAPPY ST. BASIL’S DAY! (You’ll sound incredibly smart saying this.)

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Catholic or Protestant | HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Jewish, Muslim or Hindu | HAPPY SECOND NEW YEAR! (These religions’ New Years will have already occured.)

Chinese | HAPPY FIRST NEW YEAR! (The year of the Boar is still coming up; meanwhile, the year of the Dog begins on 29 Jan, so don’t forget.)

Anyone Else | HAPPY NEW YEAR!

SA Blog will welcome any additions to this etiquette list, and hopes you had a splendid evening two nights ago.