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Dec 31, 2021

World welcomes Happy New Year 2022 !!!

Monica Ranjit

New Year is the time or day at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar’s year count increments by one.

Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner. In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system, New Year occurs on January 1 (New Year’s Day) –the first day of the year in the original Julian Calendar and the Roman calendar (after 153 BC).

Other cultures observe their traditional or religious New Year’s Day according to their own customs, typically (though not invariably) because they use a lunar calendar.

Most of the East Asian countries celebrate new year on Chinese New Year day, whereas most South Asian countries including Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia celebrate new year in mid-April according to their own calendars that are movable in the Gregorian calendar.

The Islamic New Year and the Jewish New Year are among well-known other news year examples.

In the past there are many histories of the new year day but whatever the history today many western world has observed New Year’s Day on January 1 by adopting the Gregorian calendar.

New Year’s Day is a festival observed in most of the world on January 1, the first day of the year in the modern Gregorian calendar with public holidays and fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the New Year starts in each time zone.

In many countries, New Year’s celebrations begin on the evening of December 31-New Year’s Eve-and continue into the early hours of January 1.

Revelers often enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year. The world holds its breath, and cheers as the clocks strike twelve.

File Photo: New Year Celebrations in Times Square in New York, United States of America. Times Square Chronicle  

In the United States, every year as the clock nears midnight on December 31, the eyes of the world turn once more to the dazzling lights and bustling energy of Times Square in New York. Anticipation runs high. New Year’s Eve at the symbolic center of New York City has become more than just a celebration-it’s a global tradition.

The most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight, millions of people around the world watch the event, which has taken place almost every year since 1907 in bidding collective farewell to the departing year and expressing joy and hope for the year ahead.

Jaclyn Bernstein of New York stands in confetti, among the few to observe the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop early Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

Over time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron-and-wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at nearly 12,000 pounds.

Today, towns and cities across America have developed their own versions of the Times Square ritual, organizing public drops of items at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

File Photo: The writer (far left) with family members during visit to the Times Square.

In Spain and several other Spanish-speaking countries, especially Latin America, people bolt down a dozen grapes-symbolizing their hopes for the months ahead-right before midnight.

In many parts of the world, traditional New Year’s dishes feature legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; examples include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States.

Because pigs represent progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the New Year’s Eve table in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and other countries.

Ring-shaped cakes and pastries, a sign that the year has come full circle, round out the feast in the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and elsewhere.

In Sweden and Norway, meanwhile, rice pudding with an almond hidden inside is served on New Year’s Eve; it is said that whoever finds the nut can expect 12 months of good fortune.

Other customs that are common worldwide include watching fireworks and singing songs to welcome the new year, including the ever-popular “Auld Lang Syne” in many English-speaking countries. The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot.

Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia.

Today, most New Year’s festivities begin on December 31 (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1 (New Year’s Day).

Common traditions include attending parties, eating special New Year’s foods, making resolutions for the new year and watching fireworks displays.

2021 was a challenging year too. It was a year of highs and lows, with Covid-19 again dominating the news agenda. Despite a successful vaccine rollout in many countries, the pandemic is still not over, with the Delta – and now Omicron – variants in the headlines. Yes, the pandemic continued to wreak havoc around the world, especially for already vulnerable populations, and contributed to worsening economic and social inequality. Whatever or however might be, the year ended on a high note and in some ways life has returned to a form of normality.

The world welcomes 2022 with hopes for the future. Each new year offers an exciting opportunity for a fresh start and new beginnings, which is probably why we all look forward to New Year’s Eve so much.

2022 provides an opportunity to solidify and expand by closing eyes to old ends and opening hearts to new beginnings, ringing in the start of a new year as a moment to acknowledge.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year 2022.  

(Miss Ranjit completed her Master degree from US university and currently lives in New York)