TODAY -

Is celebrating New Year's Day really worth it?

Samarjit Kambam *



New Year's celebration is a worldwide phenomenon. Historians have recorded that each new year has been celebrated since millenniums back and thought to have originated in ancient Babylon since 4000 years ago. Different sects of people also celebrate the new year as per their calendar day.

In Manipur, the Meitei/Meetei community celebrate new year's day known as Cheiraoba on Sajibu Nongma Panba (which usually falls during April), a day which is considered as the beginning of the year as per established custom.

Each day starts in the morning and ends at night. However, the perspective of a day includes the night time and comprises of 24 hours. None of the days is longer than 24 hours.

As per tilt of the earth's axis along its orbital path, 21st June is the longest day and 22nd Dec is the longest night of every year. But the seconds, minutes, hours of every days remain unchanged throughout the year. To reiterate, 24 hours a day, no more, no less. So, looking from a common perspective, all days of the year are same. It is the date that makes each day seem different except for the seasonal changes.

The most important question we need to ask ourselves is "Why do we celebrate new year every beginning of the year ? We don't need rocket science to find out the reason for that. We the humans have an intrinsic feeling comprising of expectations, anticipations and a belief that something good will happen in our lives in the coming days since the start of the new year.

That feeling is known as "Hope". It has been ingrained deep in our minds since birth. It is because of this hope that we celebrate new year's day on 1st January every year. This hope associates us with the aspiration that if we welcome and celebrate the first day of the new year in a joyous way, in fact a bash party, we have the notion that the coming days of the year will follow after as smooth sailing all the way.

Hence, this celebration has become sort of a socially accepted norm taken part by all and sundry. In fact someone who don't celebrate new year's day is considered as depressive, stingy person who leads a miserable and monotonous life without having any value of life.

I have written this piece not from a pessimistic point of view. In fact, I am someone who wants to enjoy every moment of life and a believer that a person is born in this world to lead a happy life. Only thing is that I am an introvert, sentimental fool taken easily for a ride by others with their false promises.

Sorry, where am I ? Oh! The new year's celebration. It is as true as milk is white that new year's celebration normally starts from the night of 31st December of the year considered as New Year's Eve. The red flag in this part is that the growing up teenagers party to the fullest.

This particular night gives an anathematic opportunity to try newer things particularly intoxicants such as cigarettes, weeds, liquors, drugs and other contrabands. The same things are repeated on the next day i.e. 1 st January, the beginning of the new year. People take sumptuous foods, drinks, use intoxicants till they fade to black wherein lots of money and resources are wasted.

The various picnic spots will be littered with polythene bags, empty cans of beers, liquor and mineral water bottles, carton boxes and other garbages by our sensible litterbug citizens thereby polluting our earth's biosphere.

Those celebrating people wait till 12 am and wishes are given for a happy and prosperous new year to their friends, colleagues and relatives who lives afar and near. Then they will sing and dance and by the time they slumber it will be almost 2 am. That implies rising and shining on the new year's day (1 st Jan) at 10 or 11 o'clock. Then the New Year's celebration party starts afresh. Each team or party trying to be more appealing and awesome than the others.

By the time the celebration culminates, it would be almost 2 to 3 p.m. That means almost 24 hours have been wasted in the combo celebrations which is in no way productive.

Only that memories of photos of selfies or groupfies with smartphones will remain lifelong to be cherished later on if they are uploaded in cloud storages. There is, however, one silver lining. People make new year's resolutions (which is usually short lived for a resolution is like a fresh wound that heals with time and forgotten). But there are many determined ones who are able to fulfil their resolutions.

That is a very good thing to do. It brings out the positive aspects of life. The resolutions are usually–From today onwards I will work harder, quit drinking and smoking, study harder, stop flirting, exercise regularly, achieve my goal, take efforts to earn more money, stop fighting with my wife or wives, do away with multiple partners, invest more for the future, get my dream job, be a green activist, help others in need (which anyone hardly does), etc etc, the list is endless.

Course new year's celebration is a social carnival that raises people's hopes and aspirations alongwith anticipation of a happier, successful and prosperous year. It inculcates positivity in the minds of the people and this carousal will carry on as always every year as it has become an established norm throughout the world.

You may find it absurd by straying away from the subject and bringing up a quote of Newton's Third Law of motion i.e. "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction". By ascertaining this law as a device supportive of my opinion, I would like to mention that if we do good things this year, the next year will be better because of the results of the good things we did the previous year.

For me this new year is worse than shit because neither had I done any good things the previous year nor had I made any efforts to do any good and positive things. However, I did make a resolution this new year not to re-ignite the flames of old bad habits again.


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at kambamsamarjit0(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on January 20 2022 .



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