Saturday, December 30, 2006


I think New Year's celebration is one of the most highlighted events in a year (the fact that Christmas is only celebrated mostly in Christian countries). This is one event where everybody gets busy, trying to rush and get done with year-end reports, brushing elbows at grocery stores to get hold of those must-have-at-the-dining-table-before-midnight-comes, scrubbing dirt at every corner to welcome the new year with a "clean" start, rushing to come back home to their families or hometowns, and getting that needed sleep before the year ends to try to stay awake when the new year comes. I think for most of the countries around the world, this is one event that shouldn't be missed.

For some countries like Japan, New Year's celebration is not just a celebration of welcoming a brand new year; it is actually a practice of century old traditions. From preparing new-year-only delicacies to mailing of postcards (nengajo)that must be received by January 1st. Japanese are also required to visit a temple (for Buddhists) and/or a shrine (for Shintoists) to pray and receive blessings.

In the Philippines, this is the time where family reunions are normally held. A time where you meet relatives you thought never existed. Meeting a distant cousin who has gone to the same school as you, a Tita (aunt) who is the girlfriend of your classmates's brother, a Lolo (grandfather) who you've only heard from stories, and maybe a Tito (uncle) who has the same age as you. I think I've only been to one or maybe two reunions. Normally, my family stays home and celebrate New Year together. I remember the time when my mom asked my tita to fetch me from my grandmother's house. We welcome the year with a rosary at 10pm and by the time we're done it is almost 12midnight after which me and my siblings together with other kids and teens goes from house to house to feast on their Media Noche.

But most of the countries (if not all) celebrate the New Year with a bang and I literally mean a BANG! This is the day, the night of all nights where you see fireworks, dancing lights in the sky. From houses in one's neighbourhood to firework displays organized by the government. It is totally a feast for the eye. Colors, hundreds of them. Colors that glitters, trully a grand spectacular view to see.

I guess we owe this wonderful celebration when Earth welcomed the new century that is the year 2000. This is one event where every nation around the world celebrated a new year like never before. Countries that don’t usually celebrate the New Year have joined others in celebrating it with spectacles. And still 7 years have passed that tradition never stop. Now everyone is looking forward to that grand welcome.

In a few more hours we bid goodbye to 2006 and welcome the dawn of a new age, that is 2007. As we ponder and think about what transpired in 2006, let us keep happy memories alive and make our failures lessons to live by. Like everyone else we hope for a better future, better health, better career, a better life, and most of all WORLD PEACE!

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