Another year has gone by and here we are, smack bang at the beginning of 2019 already. We have all celebrated New Year’s Eve last night in some way… whether it be a quiet night at home with the family, dancing the night away or the fascinating “big bang” with live fireworks. Who knew all the words to “Auld Lang Syne”? Or did you just mumble along like the rest of us… joining in with the traditional folk song to signify the start of the New Year?
New Year’s Eve is the largest global celebration… with men, women and children celebrating through rituals galore. In Australia, celebrations are held across the nation… popular family events, dancing, entertainment, fireworks, concerts, the list seems endless.
How did you bring in the New Year? For me, it was a quiet night at home with family, enjoying a delicious meal together, a quiet drink, playing a board game Cattle Baron, good conversation and laughter, thinking about my other family members afar and watching the televised midnight fireworks in Sydney. I know…probably sounds boring to those of you party animals that celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. But for me… I really enjoyed my night at home in relaxation mode, surrounded by my loved ones. With the burden of drought consuming me at the moment, this was the perfect way to bring in the New Year.
New Year’s Day provides us with a chance to celebrate that we have made it through another 365 days, our unit of time where we keep chronological order of our lives. The day we profoundly shift from one year to the next. At the stroke of midnight, we wave goodbye to the year gone by… and reflect on the achievements in our heart… and share the love with our family and friends. We also signify a fresh beginning at this ritual in time. Many people dance, eat, drink and watch fireworks to mark the start of a New Year.
If you have a birthday around the end of September or the beginning of October… well alas… you were probably conceived on New Year’s Eve. A time when our love for one another is profoundly displayed. Lots of hugs and kisses and gratitude are thrown around… a sight we are all so familiar with.
I remember when I was young, I used to attend family dances in country towns, dance the night away and upon the countdown to midnight… sing “Auld Lang Syne”. Historians have called it “the song that nobody knows” yet we have all tried to sing it. And most of us, not that well… but that doesn’t stop us from joining in.
“Auld Lang Syne” is based on a 1788 Scottish poem by Robert Burns and is typically sung on New Year’s Eve around the world. The Scottish phrase “auld lang syne” translates to “old long since” and basically means “days gone by” which is an appropriate toast for the New Year. So when everyone sings the chorus “for auld lang syne”, this translates to “for the sake of old times”. The song also reflects love, friendship and nostalgic memories.
Thankfully in Australia, the lyrics we sing today are a more modern version of the Scots poem. I have included a video with lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” for you to practice so you won’t need to mumble along in the verses next year. I for one tend to hum along nowadays for the failure of not knowing most of the words.
Video Credit ~ YouTube and “Christmas Songs and Carols – Love to Sing”
Now we will be armed and ready for next year… we can sing to our heart’s content. This folk song is also sung at funerals, graduations and is a farewell song at other occasions.
Sometimes our rituals do change as we get older, have children, move locations or just need a change. When I had children of my own, fireworks become our favourite New Year celebration.
We were living on the Mid North Coast when my children were young, so we would go into town, buy a seafood basket and sit on the riverbank at Taree, eat our platter together and then watch the fireworks. I remember the kids waiting for the fireworks… and they would create their own fun by rolling down the hill and playing on the riverbank. I loved these times and the feeling of contentment and relaxation with my family. We have also joined family and friends at Tuncurry/Forster to watch fireworks in later years.
New Year resolutions have also been contemplated, agreed to and some broken already. We all seem to view a New Year as a fresh new blank page in our book. A book where we can write our own story and start afresh in a New Year. We are excited and enthusiastic to make resolutions to stick with for 2019. What are your New Year resolutions?
A year of bitter-sweet memories has unfolded with the drought in our farming communities and we have seen the drought support sprawled across the nation by so many truly wonderful people. My wish for the New Year is that I hope we have a better, wetter and more prosperous 2019. As the New Year emerges, I hope we all find new joys to discover and lots of reasons to be grateful.
I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with beautiful moments and treasured memories within your own heart.
Take care, Karen.
“Begin and end each day with a grateful heart.”
~ Andrea Reiser