In this WebQuest your students will investigate famous New Year traditions and look at how New Year is celebrated in countries around the world.

Not all countries or religions celebrate New Year at the same time or in the same way. This is because different countries and religions around the world use different calendars. How much do your students know about how New Year is celebrated around the world?

Activity 1: New Year traditions

Choose one of the countries listed below and use the website below to find out how New Year is celebrated in this country.

  1. China
  2. Cambodia
  3. India
  4. Japan


Try to answer the following questions about the way in which your chosen country celebrates New Year:

a) When is New Year celebrated?
b) What is New Year called in this country?
c) How is New Year celebrated in this country?
d) What New Year traditions are observed in this country?

Finally, work with a partner who has chosen a different country to the one you have chosen. Using the questions, find out information about how New Year is celebrated in their chosen country.

Activity 2: Vocabulary – happy New Year!

Look at the phrases listed in the table below. Each phrase is a different way of saying happy New Year in another language. See if you can match the phrase to the correct language. Next, use the web pages below to check your answers.

Greeting Language

1. Bonne année Merveilleus por tous!
2. Chronia Pola! Chinese
3. Prosit Neujahr Iraqi
4. Sanah Jadidah German
5. Feliz ano novo! Japanese
6. Een gelukkig Nieuwjaar voor iedereen! Turkish
8. Akimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu Greek
7. Chu Shen Tan Portuguese
9. Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun Dutch
10. Chuc Mung Tan Nien French



Activity 3: New Year resolutions – simple future: will and going to

Every New Year, people make New Year resolutions. A New Year resolution is a promise to yourself to change an aspect of your lifestyle. A very common New Year resolution is to give up smoking. People often break their New Year resolutions!

Look at the following examples of New Year resolutions listed below. They have been formed using the simple future:

  1. I will take good care of my health and will be fit the whole year.
  2. I will enjoy my life more, be optimistic and happy.
  3. I will be more helpful to others and spend some part of my earnings in charity.
  4. I will be organized and disciplined.
  5. I will go early to bed and also wake up early.
  6. I will spend more fruitful time with my family and good friends.


The simple future can be formed in two ways: using will or going to. Consider the following examples:

  • [WILL] + [VERB]: In 2005 I will go to the gym twice a week.
  • [AM / IS / ARE] + [GOING TO] + [VERB]: In 2005 I am going to go to the gym twice a week.

Stage 1
Work with a partner. In turns, choose a resolution from the list above and read it aloud to your partner. Use going to instead of will.

Stage 2
Your teacher will give you a card to write on. Write four New Year resolutions of your own. Use will twice and going to twice. Use the following website for ideas:

Stage 3
Your teacher will collect your card, and give you another person’s card. Read out the resolutions on the card you have been given, and try to guess who wrote them. OR: Work with a partner and ask each other about the New Year resolutions you have written.