Suriname celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
Suriname is a very diverse country with a large number of highly diverse holidays on its annual holiday calendar. But New Year’s is the biggest celebration of the year, perhaps because of its more “neutral“ nature that lets everyone feel like it’s a holiday they can fully embrace.
The influx of Chinese immigrants to Suriname in the 1800s has made firecrackers and fireworks a huge part of the celebration. The streets of the capital city, Paramaribo, are literally covered with firecrackers that are set off at noon. You will also see fireworks displays around midnight and private shots in the dark all evening long.
The streets of Paramaribo turn into a somewhat wild, crazy party scene for most of the day on 31 December. It is called “Owru Yari“ and is an event as much anticipated as Carnival is in Caribbean countries.