“Word Echoes from SANZ”: “Welcoming the New Year”

Written by on January 1, 2018

New Year is celebrated according to the Georgian calendar on January 1st.
It is the one occasion when the unique union of present, past and future takes place.

A very old tradition of ‘first footing’ is practiced very seriously in Europe.
At the stroke of midnight, a male stranger must be the 1st person to enter the house,
carrying with him a lump of coal, bread and some salt.
It is supposed to bring good luck & prosperity to the family.

In South Africa, Church bells chime at the stroke of midnight to officially declare the start of the New Year.
The yearly event of the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival is one of the most spectacular events of the country
and dates back to the slave culture history of the 19th century.
In the past it was custom or tradition for slaves to be given holiday for New Year’s Day
to celebrate in their own traditions & customs.
Arrangements for the Cape Carnival begin well ahead of time, with minstrel troupes
rehearsing songs, dance steps and costume parades in which there are usually
bold silk fabrics, ties , umbrellas and hats.
The minstrels, with their rich mix of music and exhibition,
were assembled into ‘klopse’ or clubs. Up to 10 000 banjo-strumming minstrels
take to the streets and large crowds would cheer them as they parade
through the city to the nearby stadium where the annual competition is held.

People of New Zealand know how to cherish this beautiful moment of the year in a creative way.
One of the main cities, Auckland, which is situated at a distance of 496.3km
from the international date line, is the first city which observes New Year.
Many firework displays, street carnivals and parties are organised by local councils.

Many of the New Year parties in the US have a dress code or a theme.
People cover their faces with masks. They unmask themselves only when the clock strikes 12.
In New York City, a minute before 12, a brightly coloured ball is dropped slowly
from the top of the pole in Time Square.
A soon as the ball reaches the ground, it signals the start of the New Year.

In the shining lights of the New Year, people vow on moving ahead in life with a special zest
learning from the mistakes of the past and crafting a future
full of new hopes and positive aspirations.


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