Christina here. Have you all been busy making new year’s resolutions and starting the year as you mean to go on? Me – not so much.
I think one can safely say I’m a “bah humbug” type person when it comes to new year’s resolutions. In short, I gave up on them years ago because I simply never stuck to them – not even for a week in some cases. So what was the point in making them? I just ended up spending money on expensive gym memberships I was never going to use or a bunch of vegetables I soon ditched in favour of chocolate. Willpower is difficult to summon up!
There is one tradition I always follow at New Year though and it’s one I picked up when I lived in Japan. The Japanese celebrate New Year rather than Christmas and one of the things they do is to buy a little papier-mâché figure of Daruma. He is based on Bodhidharma, a monk who lived some time during the 5th or 6th centuries and was supposedly the founder of Zen Buddhism. These Daruma figures represent luck, perseverance, endurance, and the spirit to keep going despite setbacks – what the Japanese call ganbaru, or to do your best.
You buy your Daruma with both eyes blank. What you have to do is to paint in one of them while making a wish for the coming year. If he has granted it by next New Year’s Eve, he gets to have his other eye filled in as well, as a thank you. If not, he’ll remain one-eyed forever. You’re supposed to bring the figure to the temple at the end of the year and burn it, whatever the outcome, but I never did that so I’ve ended up with a huge collection of them.
The traditional colour for these figures is red, but you can buy them in lots of other colours too now. They all look nice so I don’t mind, but this year I’m having a red one. As to what I’ll wish for – that has to remain a secret until he grants it (if he does).
Do you have any special New Year’s traditions you adhere to? Or have you made any resolutions you’re determined to keep? Please share!
I think we are all hoping for a much better year in 2021 so I wish you a happy, healthy and safe new year!