Wednesday, December 31, 2008
New Years And Other Celebrations
It is New Years Eve of 2008 . I honestly can not believe that tomorrow will be the beginning of 2009 . Really . I can remember when Prince's song 1999 came out in the 1980's and we were all thinking , yeah right that will never come . It was too far into the future to imagine as a reality for most of us way back then . And now it is 2009 .New years Eve and New Years Day is celebrated around the world by most people tonight and tomorrow . New Years Eve being the last day of the month December in the Gregorian calendar year , with the New Years Day being the beginning of the month January , in a new Gregorian calendar year.
The Islamic New Years is celebrated on the 1st day of the 1st month of Muharram in a moon cycle based calendar year that has 12 months also . This year , according to the moons cycle , the 1 st. day of the month of Muharram , in the Islamic year of 1430 Hijrah , the Islamic New Years fell on Dec. 29 , 2008 of the Gregorian calendar . It is not celebrated as New Years is in the Western countries, by most Muslims , but rather in quit prayers and family gatherings , maybe . Sad to say in all my years here in Libya I have never seen this day being celebrated either in prayer or as a family gathering . Maybe that is just my experience but I don't think so . It is the observance of the Prophet Mohamed's migration from Mecca to Medina .This picture says in Arabic Peace and Love which is a good beginning for a new year huh?
Then there is the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa that always starts on Dec.26th and accumulates into a week long celebration to Jan. 1 st of the New Year . The word Kwanzaa is Swahili for 1st fruits . It is a holiday who's tradition was started in 1966 by Ron Karenga , a social activist for the African Americans and a scholar . This holiday has even had a special stamp designed for it by the U.S.A. postal department .As I grew up my mother had special observances we kept . One was on New Years Eve Day we cleaned the entire house from top to bottom . Nothing was allowed to slide in the cleanness department with my mother on that day . After the house was nice and spotlessly clean , she threw away all our cleaning tools , like the mop and broom , replacing them with new ones . This was so we could start our New Years off with a clean beginning .
We ate on New Years Day black eyed peas , corn bread ,any greens , like collared greens or mustard greens , usually a vegetable soup of some sort to go with it all . This was to remind us that being humble , living simply was healthy and would be enriching for the soul .
I have tried to carry on these simple traditions with my children also . Handing them down to my children as my mothers mother handed them down to her and she to my sisters and I . I wonder did my great grandmother receive them from her mother too ? I won't be able to do the house cleaning part this year but will definitely be doing the cooking part . I love black eyed peas but haven't found any this year so will substitute them with beans , just as delicious !
I want to wish all of you a very happy , healthy , and extremely prosperous new years for 2009 . If you made any new years resolutions , good luck lol ! Talk to you next year !