There are many strange and interesting customs, traditions and superstitions associated with this event. Some don lucky underwear to see in the new year (South America) others dress up as bears (Romania) or throw their old household items out of the window to make room for new stuff (Parts of Italy and South Africa).
In Denmark folks dutifully listen to the Queen’s speech on TV, then later watch an old black and white comedy skit from the UK – Dinner for one. This ancient piece of booze-related slapstick features just two characters – a posh lady and her butler – and shows that the Danes and indeed others in parts of Scandinavia and Germany, love nothing more that the collision of upper class formality and extreme drunkenness.
As the clocks signal the start of the new year, people eat Kransekage (marzipan ring cake) and naturally consume oceans of booze. There then follows an hour or two of fireworks insanity, where every street corner or public space is used to try and outdo your neighbours in competitive rocket launching. Not a fun time for pets, luckily our old cat’s increasing deafness works in her favour on such occasions.
As the sad old git that was 2015 shuffles off stage into the wings muttering to himself, we must bid hello to his fresh, pimple-faced successor. We hope he comes bearing gifts – astounding levels of motivation and self discipline; boundless new reserves of self belief; limitless inspiration and originality. Or at least a nice fat lottery win.
Tomorrow may bring untold joys, or a plague of locusts, you just never know. Such is life’s sweet ‘n’ sour mystery. Or is that the content of a No.25 from the Peking Chef restaurant round the corner?
The callow youth that is 2016 may deliver us from all the mistakes made during the reign of his predecessor. Like a wizard, he might have all manner of surprises, treats and jolly japes up his sleeves. Many folks (if they are a bit gaga) like to consult various mystics, psychics and horoscopists(?) hoping to learn the details of what he has in store. But they should realise that the future is unwritten and we must all work with what we have, as best we can, to create the life we want. And of course moan a lot when we don’t manage it.
Like a phantom, happiness often disappears when we chase it. We mistake simple pleasures and easy self-gratification for true happiness. The wise say we must follow our dreams and do what we love, negotiating all the bumps and obstacles along the way. Only then will true happiness emerge. For it comes not with the achievement of success, but with the striving towards challenging goals that align with our values.
Many of us would also be happier with a bit more self-acceptance, declaring, in the words of that great philosopher, Popeye – I yam what I yam. Wise words indeed.
Happy New Year!
Copyright J.Lennick 2016. All rights reserved.