Every year, I approach New Year’s Eve with a meh feeling. It’s a phony holiday, I think, based solely on the arbitrary divisions of time set by medieval calendars created by forgotten leaders. It’s also a an event that causes people to raise their hopes for great parties and great times, and often it ends up being a tremendous letdown.
Unbeknownst to me, however, there is a hard core of people out there who love New Year’s Eve. They live for it and celebrate it with joy and fervor.
Why? As one person explained it to me, it’s because New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are really the one worldwide holiday. Many holidays are national, or religious, and therefore aren’t recognized, much less celebrated, by people in different countries or of different faiths. But New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are different. Across the globe, as the hour strikes 12 and the calendar page turns, people of all nationalities, faiths, colors and creeds celebrate the New Year and the promise of a fresh start that a new year holds.
I never really thought about it in quite that way — and while I’m not sure that the remote villages in Papua, New Guinea, for example, are waiting for a ball to drop, there’s a lot of truth to the notion that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are the closest thing we’ve got to a worldwide holiday. Turn on the TV now, and when it strikes the hour you’ll see fireworks and celebrations in some faraway land. So maybe New Year’s Eve really does deserve to be the subject of festivity. This year, we’re going to give it a shot.