New Year greetings eagerly awaited provide an opportunity with optimism to be happy, join other millions out there to have fun and frolic. A hectic activity of felicitations and joviality through greeting cards, exchange of gifts generates a blooming economic movement. One may, perhaps, pessimistically ask what is good about a happy new year when contrarily it should perhaps be a day of reckoning as living human beings lose a year pushing all closer to the grave or cremation.
The stark factuality depicts a scenario of so much bad happening in the world and pessimism apart; it looks like we witness the triumph of evil over good. Last year around this time we had amongst us hundreds and thousands of our fellow species looking forward to celebrate another New Year and make merry. But for many it was not to be and now all those missing ones were consumed either by natural calamities, criminal mindset, and terrorism including state sponsored terrorism. The recent carnage of rammed vehicle in a Christmas gathering in Berlin, Children in US schools, killings in Pakistan, India, Burma (Myanmar), Middle-East or Kashmir facing multiple genocides are glaring examples of triumph of evil over good for the world to ponder about.
The history of New Year celebrations take us to the fact that Roman pagans observed the occasion by engaging in drunken orgies believing in the chaotic world being ordered by the gods. The Christian celebration of Jesus circumcision on January 1st according to Jewish tradition was an occasion when child Jesus was formally given his name. This also signifies that the circumcision is traditionally seen as the ‘first time the blood of Christ was shed’.
The celebration of the New Year on January 1st is a new phenomenon keeping in view the historical data available that Egyptians, Phoenicians and the Persians began their new year with the fall equinox. The first time the New Year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C.; though the claim is disputed as the month of January did not exist until around 700 B.C. Judaism on Line (simpletoremember.com) records "In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the New Year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1st became the consistently observed start of the New Year."
The new tradition followed popularly like celebrating end and dawn of the New Year in public squares or city centres finishes off with a large majority indulging in drink, dine and dance involving kisses, hugs leading to unbridled indulgence of passions. Many more out there prefer to stay indoors thinking to be rational to avoid any ´trouble´. Some hold parties inviting friends and relatives while others get a thrill from costume parties and the culminating point firework displays. January 1st is usually a holiday and very rightly so as people in the New Year eve´s activity become exhausted and worn out. The nostalgia of previous night´s enjoyment makes people feel lazy to get involved with the usual routine the following day.
The uniqueness of the occasion is a reminder that there is no other moment in the year getting this sort of attention. The motivation of survival or as some believe the fear of death becomes the driving force to share something good or purposeful for which most of the people seem to be in agreement. The facilities provided by technology allows millions to share the joy watching television or interact through internet, telephones and social media to unanimously exchange ‘Happy New Year’ greetings wherever.
The celebration also gives contentment and relief for having survived unscathed from any serious mishap or trouble for the year gone by. Who has seen the next year phrase rings the bells about the uncertainties, ups and downs and even failures or successes keeping one guessing about futuristic view of the times ahead. So the chance of grabbing moment of happiness, in spite of the risks, takes precedence for man or woman to avail it.
Death is inescapable and people deal with fear of death differently; some turn to religion and others pin every man made cataclysm on religion. Stephen Hawking the world famous theoretical physicist revealed that "God did not create the universe but our universe followed inevitably from the laws of nature." However, the entity nature and its origin have not yet been defined, interpreted or comprehensively explained. The tussle between believers and non-believers in religion is on and perhaps will continue for a long period of time but as some unknown quipped "All sciences will end in religion".
To sum it up, humans do need a break and for the most long stay on our planet becomes as short as asking someone living in nineties if he or she remembers when he or she was in school and the answer invariably comes ´looks like only yesterday´ and how the time slipped by, one keeps wondering. The prime of youth does not give anyone time even to think about this short span of life. Thus only alternative always would be to make best use of time according to ones capability and perception. So at best, make merry, enjoy and have fun to exchange the golden words VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.