"Hope - Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, -Whispering ´it will be happier´..." -- Alfred Tennyson
A rapturous delight and exultation for few minutes, exchange of greetings, hugs, kisses, merry making followed by enjoyment of variety of specially prepared food at home or out in restaurants , favourite drinks and anything else that gives pleasure to a majority of people is the net result of this long awaited strike of the second on the clock. To some out there the "manic New Year simply can mean getting drunk, wait until midnight and then go crazy yelling Happy New Year to other people who are also yelling Happy New Year; adding to global warming with heaps of fireworks".
Wishing somebody a happy New Year end of the year when it strikes twelve o´clock midnight, the fervour slowly dying down into the usual spate of day to day good or bad days. The nitty-gritty of the hullabaloo cannot disguise the fact that happiness being a relative term can mean real happiness or an act of routine cultural pretence. The renewed hope of a better tomorrow looking at New Year with optimism makes us oblivious about wars, bloodshed, poverty, starvation and more importantly the visible gap between haves and have-nots gripping us by anxiety with the spiralling pessimism about the future.
Borgna Brunner, a writer-editor, sourcing the New Year eve writes that "the celebration of New Year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a New Year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice".
Bernard Chazelle, Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, commenting on the phrase happy new year writes: "Happy New Year, a suspiciously self-serving wish; makes me happy by being happy. Where is the altruism in wishing good health to the guy who is scheduled to donate a kidney for you next year?”" A wish is only a wish and it may or may not come true.
Many believe that happiness revolves round economics and once that is achieved to some extent, other worries including health, unfulfilled aspirations and dreams, and other´s problems we are deeply involved with come to the fore. Sometimes anything bad that happens in our surroundings or on international level takes order of precedence. The list of worries never diminishes and on the contrary keeps adding on daily basis. A favourite team’s following day football match can worry some to give a sleepless night, so on and so forth. Some might say that "I am happy because my life is very simple and I am contented".
Many countries, especially the colonized nations present or erstwhile adopted 1st January of Gregorian calendar as the New Years Day to celebrate which made a huge cultural impact making the day as universal merry making day. Though all other cultures have their own calendars but western conventional solar calendar used by the Christian world took precedence and became an integral part of almost all societies and cultures.
Llisha Loon observes "If the New Year had any religious significance at all, I might have guessed it was a tribute to Dionysis, the Greek god of wine and revelry. Or perhaps to Janus the Roman god of beginning and transitions after which the month of January is named". She further says,”"New Year is a traditional Christian holiday commemorating the circumcision of Jesus Christ. The Feast of the Circumcision is still celebrated in some Christian communities around the world, eight days after Christmas, on January 1of the Gregorian calendar. Jesus is said to have been circumcised according to Jewish Law (Genesis 17:10-14) The New Testament specifically mentions Jesus’ circumcision in the Gospel of Luke."
In a nutshell, New Years Eve provides people a pretext and a reason to have some moments full of joy, amusement and carousal to forget individual or world´s problems and to understand and find an answer to the conundrum of this intricate universe. People sometimes wonder and try seeking answer to what is good about the New Year when the year passed takes us nearer to reach the final destination which is a grave or a crematorium? The only factuality of fear of death perhaps persuades and influences majority in the world to achieve and make the world a better place to live for future generations.
The efficacious perspective of Happy New Year phenomenon must not be underestimated as every constructive move is based on the hope to succeed and most of the time the commitment to achieve positive cherished results materialize and that is the key for the world to carry forward. The outstanding feats performed in science and technology, arts and other fields of knowledge gives us humans´ confidence to better this extraordinary and remarkable representation. Hope becomes a driving force to muster all efforts to utilize intellectual capabilities to achieve maximum results.
The world, ostensibly cheerful, will carry on and all present will always keep on wishing each other a very Happy New Year!