Ever since I was little I never cared too much about New Year’s Eve, and its celebrations,
It seems like with the passing of time this feeling has gotten stronger, but also aged in a way that the “collectivity” of celebrating it makes me feel a bit bitter, although I am thoroughly not against it.
And I’m sure when I say this, social acceptance of what is done and what should be done has a weight upon us that we carry for centuries, a brief example of it is today’s subject, in which unless you still live in the middle ages (Medieval Europe) or celebrate the New Year as some countries who follow the lunar calendar, not solar, the event only variates according to how you participate on the celebration at different dates of the year. Without going further into historical matters, I think we all agree on how lately this pressure of “celebrating” the New Year inside the collectiveness of the subject put into tradition has intensified and has become challenging as years go by. Since 1904, people have gathered in New York’s Time Square to presence the fireworks and the dropping of the ball (1907), a crowd concentration to witness a historical event in society, a collective emotion translated into such a human behavior; community.
Amelie & Mr. Dufayel discuss Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s, “Luncheon of the Boating Party” (1881) in Amelie (2001)
It seems like the celebration had been a very “adult” thing for me, until I was 14 I would witness my relatives and parents throwing small but very fun parties at home or at my cousin’s homes, where the adults would get together near the bar or the radio and dance, drink and laugh as if expecting the clock to hit 00:00 and welcome a new day + year with the most joyful smiles. As kids we would just play around waiting for our bodies to no longer have the energy and soon enough go to bed; just another day.
Leaving the ethnographic and such aspects aside, the global traditions when it comes to “Celebration” are what makes me think, how the media has been the main disseminator for trends, customs and eventually the New Year’s resolutions in order to “really” celebrate a New Year, it is like following these steps lead you into portraying a “proper” celebration; you have to celebrate the new year with family and/or friends, you have to make resolutions count. There is a certain amount of pressure inside this worldwide event and in it the perception of time. In Spanish, the significance of the word “Cábala” is the first thing you’ll hear in the news, Facebook or any other form of media that wishes to express the excitement inside the coming of the new year, etymologically Cábala is described as the Hebrew word qabbālāh which means “to receive”, from the oral tradition given from God to Moses; perceived this way as an esoteric discipline related to Judaism, which I do not wish to discuss but to simply offer a “correlation” between its true meaning and how it is viewed through the social nets and communication. By the Cábala is how all the Judaic mystical traditions have been stored before Christ and have come to reinterpret The Torah or in Christianity the Pentateuch (Biblical scholars), therefore it is an allegoric and mystical system of it; searching the meaning of the world and the «truth». It is also a way of knowing the reality in which we live in. Cábala divides itself in Dogmatic (real) and Artificial (symbolic), this last one is my interest of concern when it comes to its ambiguities in the popular use of the word.
So, as to combine both the popular significance and the historical “sacred” form of the word, the Cábala would be (as the media portray it) the resolutions for the beginning of the New Year, the desires (mostly materialistic) a person wishes to achieve all throughout the year and the promises of change. But how does this apply to the true meaning of the word? Well in combination to it, Cábala is “the desire to receive”, different pleasures, and how the person is disposed to invest a great effort, it looks like a personal seeking that starts with our senses, then money and honor and, by the power of this desire, comes the “thirst” for more power, leading eventually to Spirituality. So the “cábalas” or resolutions would be our desires to achieve a certain type of power in our lives, but do these desires, if conquered, actually lead us to spirituality?. It appears to me that we do not know the true value of the word to fully understand what type of “cábalas” or spiritual resolutions for the next year we should have, to make us better humans, better beings evolving in society. A message that only seems to distort itself as the years go by.
The first time I spent a New Year’s Eve on my own I was 18 but not even then I understood the energy that surrounds people as the seconds start being counted and the thrill of the moment explodes into the furious “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”, it was always just another early morning for me. But now I understand how it’s not just a simple pressure of our environment and society to fully celebrate the New Year, it can also be a commitment one makes to maybe just be happier than before, face the coming future with a different outlook on things, kiss at midnight, eat the grapes; reflect on our decisions for tomorrow. This year I spent the Eve on my own, with a glass of wine, sitting on my desk, trying to write and “act normal”, while the noise outside filled my head with desire for a place filled with friends, family and love, after all they were all gathered in my head, nostalgic and cheesy as it sounds, 2017 came and made me feel closer to the ones I love.
So, without getting on the “hype train” towards the slogan in the end: “2016 was the worst!” we should just maybe think next time about the Cábalas, the true personal meanings of Celebration and the resolutions, and maybe not wait for another year to pass full of regret and negativity, but just to wish for better things, even for us the lonely folks who sit and daydream about society.