Unbelievable! Somehow, 2012 is ending! We are well and truly at the pointy end of the year. There are only a few more weeks to tie up all those loose ends and tick off all those tasks on the “to-do” lists. This is that time of year when, suddenly, everyone is flat out like a lizard drinking* in anticipation of the rapidly approaching time when they can simply be flat out drinking.
*For the non-Australians, to be “flat out like a lizard drinking” means to be hard at work
New Years’ Eve is just around the corner folks and whether you intend to end this year festively or pensively, there is no denying the fact that the 1st January, the start of the New Year, is an important demarcation in our lives. A day that separates the old from the new and offers the chance to reflect on past failings and transgressions and perhaps resolve to mend a few of them; or failing that, to at least embrace a fresh start on those old habits. And a day to throw one hell of a gigantic party. All around the world cities alight in fireworks and sparklers, while people celebrate, get drunk and kiss each other.
Unlike other holidays that are entirely solemn (like say, Remembrance days) or entirely frivolous (like, dare I say, The Queen’s Birthday), New Year’s offers pundits the chance to partake unapologetically in both uninhabited revelry and introspective reverie. And evidently, we are deeply enamoured with this unique combination of celebration and contemplation. New Year’s is not only a big party, it’s big business (London alone spends around £3 million on fireworks).
So why then do we not choose to celebrate more of them?
During the last centuries, most countries and cultures have adopted the western (Christian) Gregorian calendar, in which the New Year falls on January 1, as their own (much as they embraced other hallmarks of western globalisation inflicted upon them: McDonalds, Coca-Cola, the English language, and capitalism). However, while the west has remained stuck with this single calendar of festivities other cultures have happily retained their traditional holidays alongside the newly imported ones, and thus, celebrate multiple new years.
I grew up celebrating two new years every year: the “normal” New Year with my friends drinking and the Jewish New Year with my family eating. For many of you of non-western/non-Christian ethnic extraction, this will also have been the norm.
But, now here’s a thought. If I am equally happy to party like its 2013 and like its 5774 (next year according to Jewish calendar), then why stop there? There are at least ten other alternative New Year’s days, which will be celebrated by different cultures around the world in ‘2013’. (Here they are in a convenient Table).
What a colossal, currently wasted, opportunity for merriment, smooching, and enlightened meditation! Imagine the amount of partying, number of kisses, and level of self-improvement you could attain in 2013 if you celebrate each one of these New Year’s! Not to mention how clean your house will be (cleaning and cleansing seem to be conspicuously recurring themes of New Year celebrations in other cultures).
So that being said, my Gregorian New Year’s resolution is to celebrate every New Year I can.
Let me know if you are up for doing it with me!
I wish you all an awesomely festive Gregorian New Year full of peace and happiness.