New Years Is Hello And Goodbye

Celebrating New Years is not always a joyous occasion

Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

I once attended a New Years event in Berlin, Germany. At 12 pm when the countdown was complete there was no joy and happiness but tears.

About half the people attending the small gathering burst into tears. I don’t mean a sniffle and a single tear sliding down a cheek but violent sobs. Well, at least that is how I remember it.

I felt awkward suddenly. Not only did I not speak the language but the sudden display of emotion bewildered me.

Why were they crying?

Where I come from New Years is a cause for celebration and joy. People drink and dance and hug and laugh. There are no tears only drunken smiles and embraces. All my family New Years are spent eating lots of food and then breaking into Auld Lang Syne as the clock strikes 12.

People drink on New Years and get drunk and then spend New Year's day nursing a horrific hangover.

Maybe there is more sadness in New Years then people care to admit. Maybe that's why people drink themselves into oblivion.

New Years is not only the beginning of a new year but also the end of an old one. The previous year is over. We will never write the year 2019 again. All the happiness and sadness of that year is over.

Maybe the year was hard so you are happy to see it end and to have an excuse to start ‘again’. But maybe the year was a good one. Maybe it was the year you got married or had your first child or met someone amazing. And if it was a good one then saying hello to the new year might be sad too.

Whatever happened last year is over.

We cannot go back to last year and attempt to fix anything or relive any happy moments.

Robert Burns was on the right track when he wrote Auld Lang Syne:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

Auld Lang Syne means ‘old long since’. Goodbye to times that are past. It is more a sorrowful goodbye than a joyous hello.

New Years is a happy occasion and a sad one. I understand why some people would burst into tears as the year is brought to a close.

Farewell 2019, we will never meet again.

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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