A Year of New Years!
by Jonel Juste
A new year has come. As usual, many resolutions are being taken, even the resolution of not taking any or to stop taking them. But first of all, many of you think of wishing their relatives and friends the best wishes you can think of for this New Year. Maybe some of you -like me- are worrying so much that, at the end of the first day of the year, you even checked your phone, e-mail or Facebook friends list to see who they could have forgotten.
However, don’t worry about making wishes on the very first day of January 2014. The Gregorian calendar sets the New Year’s day on January 1st, and it seems that after that day making wishes is useless or belated. Actually, you have the whole year to wish a happy New Year to your relatives and friends.
The whole year is a New Year. The fact is that the new year does not begin on the first day of January for everyone on the planet. There is not yet a world calendar. The Westerners have their own, the Gregorian calendar; so do the Chinese, the Jews, and the Muslims. The Gregorian calendar seems to be the most popular but is not accepted in all cultures. In fact, at least 2 billion of the world’s population don’t use it. Therefore, through 2014, many will be celebrating a new year at different times of the year. Some people will even start their new year as we will almost be finishing ours.
If you have missed the 1rst day of January 2014, you can start by wishing a Happy New Year on January 31. If someone stares at you like you have lost your mind or recovered from a coma, tell him/her that at least 1 billion people in China are celebrating a New Year that day. “Xin Nian Kuai Le” People! (My Chinese pronunciation isn’t too good, but you got it). Korea and Vietnam are celebrating too. That’s a lot.
If you’ve missed January 31, don’t panic; you still can make your wishes on March 20, the Iranian New Year. “Har rooz-etaan Noroz”, everybody! If you’ve forgot about March 20, know that another New Year will begin on April 13th in Cambodia. In Khmer (Cambodian language), they say “sur sdei chhnam thmei”. If you were unable to recall this one, calm down, you still can make wishes on April 14, the Sri Lanka’s New Year. In Sinhala, “Happy New Year” is translated by “Suba aluth auruddhak wewaa!” After April 14, you have until September 24, the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), to make your wishes. “Shanah tovah”, people!
Finally if you have missed all those opportunities to wish a New Year, the Islamic calendar that starts the New Year in October 24 gives you a last chance to make your wishes. “Kul ‘am wa antum bikhairwe”,my friend! If you failed to remember that one, you still can wish a Happy New Year on January 1, 2015. See? No need to hurry.