New Year's Eve: What would you be doing?

Some Thoughts on New Year Observances

New Year observances are some of the world's oldest and most universally shared.

For many, New Year's Eve (or "Old Year's Night") is on December 31, the final day of the Gregorian calendar.  (The Lunar calendar's new year starts several weeks later.)

New year activities and rituals are generally based on concepts of memories, reflection, mortification, purging, and cleansing related to the past and of rebirth, invigoration, joy and hope for the future.  Some make wishes for the new year.  Some make new year resolutions.

Activites around the world include: the making of resolutions, religous observances, the cleaning of the house and household linens, the purchase of new clothes, the gathering of friends and family for a party, night clubbing, the creation of items from left-over Christmas items, feasting on rich foods, dancing and singing in public locations.... Many are traditions passed from generation to generation.

In some countries, people host parties that start on New Year's Eve and continue on into the early hours of New Year's Day.  Noise-making and fire-works are  part of the celbration in many countries.  One of the earliest displays, because of their geographical location, are the fireworks and light shows in Hong Kong and at the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia.

Arguably the most famous is the dropping of the New Year's Eve Ball in Times Square in New York.  More locally, we have the drop of the  Orange and the big Shoe.   If I watch one particular TV station, I can view at least two countdowns and see the Apple and the Orange drop at the same time on a split screen!   I can see even more celebrations through webcams that I can check out on my laptop.  Millions of humans worldwide can share these tremendous displays as they happen -Television and the Internet connect the global village so we can share one of the oldest human celebrations.   I wonder what other commonalities ....

See you in the new year -am off to work on my resolutions.


Cindy Lau-Evans
GMSHRM Diversity & Inclusion Director 2009 and 2008
GMSHRM President-Elect 2010