The New Year December 31 2016, 0 Comments

On the first day of the year, champagne flows, skies explode with coloured fireworks and people sing and dance.  The victory celebration has begun in hopeful anticipation of conquering another year.  We send wishes of health, peace and prosperity.  In Scotland you might hear the sound of a lone bagpiper, introducing Auld Lang Syne, a song based on the poem by Robert Burns.  Auld Lang Syne which is also sung at graduation ceremonies to graduates that that, too, is a time of saying good bye to the old in anticipation of the future after having received their awards and certificates.

New Year as we know it in South Africa is based on the Gregorian/Roman calendar unlike the Jewish or Chinese new years.  The Jewish new year is based on a much older calendar, calculated by the phases of the moon, like a silver pendulum keeping time, while the roman calendar is based on the sun.  This means that the Jewish new year, known as Rosh Hashana, is celebrated around September and October.  At that time it’s not the sound of bagpipes you may hear but that of the ram’s horn, known as the shofar.

Another well-know new year is that of the Chinese tradition.  It is also based on the moon and always falls somewhere within January and February. Wishes of prosperity are exchanged, having evolved from the wishes of a good year of farming when agriculture was dominant in China.  Chinese zodiac animals are used to name each year, with 2017 being the year of the rooster.  Many traditions such as exchanging red envelopes and wearing red clothes accompany the season of the old turning into the new in China.

Whichever new year you may be celebrating, it is a time to look forward to the journey ahead, while reflecting on the year just past. May it be peaceful and full of contentment, with each step a step of success towards that trophy and reward that you seek!