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Date: May 25, 2017 07:06PM
PAT DIALLast week this column dealt with a number of the usual Christmas symbols. Several readers contacted us saying that they found it enlightening and asked us to have a similar offering about the New Year festival. Since today is the last Sunday before the advent of 2017, we decided to make this offering today.The media, at this time, have traditionally carried pieces of how the New Year is marked or celebrated in different countries of the world leaving the Guyanese reader with a feeling the way we celebrate New Year is not as interesting or unique as in other countries. Actually the way we celebrate New Year is just as unique and interesting as any other country.The Guyanese New Year celebrations begin on Old Year?s Day,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysfan.us@#$%&/]Authentic Jerseys Cheap[/url], that is December 31. It was de rigeur that the house had to be thoroughly cleaned and the furniture brightened or renewed and new clothing had to be worn. The home-cleaning and renewal of furniture were done in the Christmas week as part of the Christmas preparations but with a strong feeling that it was done for the coming of the New Year as well.This manifested the linkage in Guyana between the Christmas and New Year celebrations. With the cleaning,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysshare.us@#$%&/]Cheap Jerseys[/url], everyone felt uplifted by the refreshing and pervasive odour of newness in the home.People tried to pay off any debts they may owe before the arrival of the New Year. On the day before Old Year?s Day,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysauthenticonline.us@#$%&/]Cheap Jerseys NFL[/url], resolutions were made as to how one would act and achieve greater success in personal relations,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysshare.us@#$%&/]Wholesale China Jerseys[/url], in business and at work during the coming year. Very often people would write down these resolutions.New clothes were laid out to be worn on the evening of Old Year?s and a good meal was prepared so that the New Year would find one well-fed and well-clothed. A final house-cleaning was done on Old Year?s Day and all dust would have been thrown out during of daylight since it brought ill-luck to do so after sundown.It is important to note that this renewal and the very conscious turning away from the failures, tensions and depressions of the past year is cathartic and allowed Guyanese people to begin the New Year with optimism and strength. The Guyanese New Year celebrations therefore had a creative psychological value.Old Year?s Night was regarded as a continuum into the New Year and many felt that however the arrival of the New Year found one, he or she would have the same pattern of life throughout the year. Many people go partying or dancing into the New Year, being convinced that they would remain relaxed and happy for the rest of the year. At twelve midnight, there is a burst of noise everywhere, whether it is the firing of guns by the army or the ships? sirens or the squibs and other noise-makers; the old superstition is that such noise will exorcise ill-luck.In Guyana and other English-speaking countries Robert Burns?s famous song ?Auld lang syne? is one of the sounds which is linked with the New Year. This song awakens nostalgia, good-fellowship, friendship and fraternity. During or after the song or music,[url=http://www.wholesalesportsjerseys.us@#$%&/]Jerseys From China[/url], toasts to friends,[url=http://www.wholesalenfljerseyssale.us@#$%&/]Cheap NFL Jerseys[/url], absent and present, and to loved ones are drunk.Some families and individuals would have the New Year find them praying for God?s help and protection and this religious element does form part of the beginning of the year. The New Year festival is of course purely secular and though the Christian festival of Epiphany falls on January 5, the two festivals have remained distinct without any connection.The most common New Year symbols are as small baby representing the birth of the New Year, an old man dressed in his sleeping gown representing the year which is about to die, champagne glasses representing the common practice of toasting friends, and bells representing the Church bells which help to ring in the New Year.The 1st of January is the international and secular New Year?s day but in Guyana there are also two religious New Years, the Hindu and Muslim, based on the lunar calendar, The adherents of these Faiths do observe their respective New Years and the Hindu New Year, Phagwah is a public holiday which is widely celebrated but it is the moral and ethical aspects of the festival are stressed and not the New Year?s aspect. January 1 is however celebrated by people of all Faiths and they all vigorously celebrate it.