Reflection on years past help pave a path in the new year
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 01:01
Every year, immediately after Christmas, my buddies and I plan our New Year’s Eve. It is a night when people wait until midnight to “ring in the new year,” usually by boozing as an excuse to party longer.
For me as a college student, unaffected by insurance or tax worries, I only plan for the night and then it’s over. I have not made a resolution in a few years now, so really the only takeaway from New Year’s is one night of partying and replacing 2012 with 2013 on any form or assignment.
There has to be more to it. With the entire world celebrating this holiday, regardless of religion or cultural affinities, means this carries more power than a religious day, or a national anniversary.
What is the significance of a new year — just celebrating the fact the human race survived for another year?
The New Year’s celebration in the United States of America is self-evident. Drinking champagne and watching the ball drop in Times Square in New York since 1907 is something millions of Americans participate in annually.
I was curious as to how New Year’s is celebrated in other countries. In China you can expect the celebration to last for 10-15 days. They believe the beating of drums and cymbals are able to drive away evil spirits. In Spain, as midnight strikes, it is customary to quickly eat twelve grapes, one at each strike of the clock. These traditions are supposed to bring good luck. The Germans drop molten lead into cold water to see what shape it takes to predict the future, each shape symbolizing an aspect of life.
The world celebrates New Year’s with different practices and traditions. But, why do we all celebrate the new year?
I came to realize New Year’s is celebrated as a time to refresh, or start over with a new beginning. A time to reflect on your life and see if the year behind you was satisfactory, and if you had accomplished enough to deem it successful. This is something the world has in common, regardless of culture or religion. Everyone can reflect and make adjustments in their life.
I also discovered New Year’s was originally a celebration of the seasons changing from the winter solstice. People are excited for the sunlight and the changing of weather — unless you live in Corvallis. Now there are religious theories and practices behind New Year’s, but for the sake of being neutral I will not highlight any of them.
As young adults, every year should be exciting to us. We have not had enough time on Earth to be stagnant at this point. With this comes the curiosity of what the next year will bring, and how much control we have as to what happens.
A good source trusted by many is our elders for — not necessarily advice — but a form of reference. Looking to elders and seeing how their life decisions have affected their lives over the years, for both good and bad, can help us out. This process is very enlightening, and perhaps beneficial when deciding the direction you would like to take in the upcoming year. There is always time for change, and what better time than during a fresh start at the new year.
Jenson Vliss is a senior in entrepreneurship. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Vliss can be reached at email@example.com.