The best New Year’s Eve I ever had was on a boat sitting in the Thames. We had a great dinner, great DJ who actually took requests for Aussie singers and great company. It was all topped off with a open top deck that we all moved to when midnight was close. The fireworks were a bit poor but the drunk Englishmen singing was fireworks in itself. Seeing Big Ben chime on midnight was one of the highlights of our time overseas. But getting back to that singing.
It hit New Years Eve and Auld Lang Syne was sung at the top of their voices. It’s not a song I’m very familiar with and I could never quite catch the words. But it’s definitely a song that traditionally sung on New Years Eve. I was interested to know what the words even were. It was amusing to find that there was a reason I didn’t know the words, they were in another language. Not English but old Scottish. Loosely translated “Auld Lang” means “old long time”. It is also sung at funerals, graduations and other farewell events in Scotland. I did love the meaning and I think I understood it without knowing the words, that we should not forget those that are dear.
Fireworks on New Years Eve are rather epic in Australia and I was a bit disappointed with London’s effort. At the time the government was warning people not to go out to celebrate New Years Eve, so I think they put a damper on the fireworks as well. I was proud to watch Sydney’s efforts that year on TV the next day. Sydney ‘s fireworks are watched by a billion people a year and attract around 1.6 million people to Sydney. They can be seen for up to 16 kilometres around the Harbour and the bridge holds around 60 tonne of fireworks. The first use of the Harbour Bridge was in 1986 for the 75th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy. The fireworks on New Years Eve using the bridge and being broadcast started in 1996. In 1999, fireworks were being launched off the Sydney Opera House and every year it gets bigger and better. This years theme is “Inspire” and apparently Twitter followers are going to tweet inspiring messages that will get projected onto the Harbour Bridge. The 2014 budget has been increased from $6.8 to $7.2 million for the fireworks. So I think we can expect a lot from our fireworks this year.
New Years Eve did not always fall on the 1st January and the new year was greeted in March. It was Julias Ceasar that updated the calendar to run in line with the seasons. January and February were added at the front of the calendar. January was dedicated to the god Janus who is the keeper of gates, doors and new beginnings. January 1st was an important date as the consul for the Roman government started their terms of office on that date. After Julias was murdered, the Roman consul also decided that it was important to remember him on the 1st of January too.
Happy New Years and wherever and however you celebrate it, enjoy. Let me know if you have some New Years traditions that are important to you.