Christina here. Today is New Year’s Eve and we should all be having a party – champagne, canapés, a huge gathering of friends and lots of fun, music, dancing and laughter. Obviously, that won’t be the case this time and I’m guessing low-key celebrations will be the order of the day instead. Personally, I don’t mind. I’ve never really liked all the hype around this one day – the older I get, the faster it seems to come around and I’d rather not think about how it signifies the rapid passing of time! I just want to spend the evening with my family, perhaps eating and drinking something special, and quietly welcoming the new year.
In Sweden, people say “Gott Slut” to each other until midnight, when this changes to “Gott Nytt År”. “Gott Slut” basically means “Happy Ending”, which has always sounded a bit morbid to me, but it is meant to be taken in a good way, wishing friends and family a happy evening and end of the old year before the new one arrives. I don’t know if any other countries have similar greetings? If you’ve heard of any, please let me know!
Champagne seems to be de rigueur for New Year’s Eve celebrations and everyone loves it … except me. I’m aware that I am a bit of an oddity for disliking this drink, but I have never understood the fascination. I find the taste too dry and the bubbles go straight to my knees (not joking!). The only way I can get it down me is to add something like orange juice or peach juice, and even then I’d prefer the juice on its own. But we’re all different and vive la difference I say! And there are plenty of great alternatives – cider, sparkling elderflower cordial, lemonade etc, so I don’t feel left out. The main thing is to have something to say cheers with, right?
Some people don’t celebrate yet, preferring to wait until the Chinese New Year, which this time will be on 1st February 2022. When I first learned about that, I was intrigued by their “zodiac” and thrilled to find that I was born in the Year of the Dog as I love dogs. I bought this lovely little book in Japan (they follow the same tradition) which lists all the various animals’ characteristics, and it’s just like our zodiac – I’m sure most people feel they fit some of them. And it’s easy to find your year on the internet by looking at sites like this one for example. The coming year will be the Year of the Tiger, which sounds auspicious – we will all need to be strong and bring out the tiger in us in order to cope with the pandemic yet again.
There is a lot of music associated with Christmas, but not so much for the New Year celebrations other than Auld Lang Syne. Every year I’m determined to learn the lyrics so I can sing along properly, but somehow I never get round to it. And perhaps it doesn’t matter, as holding hands with the person next to you and just humming along and joining in on the chorus gives that lovely feeling of camaraderie. We may not know what the new year will bring, but we’re all in it together so we’ll cope with the help of friends and family.
For me, the song Happy New Year by ABBA perfectly embodies the combination of nostalgia and hope for the future that I always feel on New Year’s Eve. Wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate, the Wenches and I wish you a very HAPPY, SAFE AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!
What music do you associate with New Year? And do you like champagne or what is your New Year’s beverage of choice? Let us know how you are celebrating!