With the New Year fast approaching, many individuals take the opportunity to reconcile with others who have done them wrong or to whom they have done wrong. They also take the time to get their house, finances, goals and image in order in an attempt to start the New Year feeling refreshed and detoxed from the year before.
While hitting the gym to work off the plates of food and Christmas cake they ate during the holidays is on the list of new year’s resolutions. Here are some customs of Caribbean people as they welcome the new year:
- Go To Church
It seems that this is the most important place to be for Caribbean nationals as they wait for the clock to strike twelve and the New Year feel to be projected through instruments and voices of praise. Whether you are a staunch Catholic, Anglican, Protestant or just a lively non-denominational Christian in need of blessings, on New Year’s Eve you will see every corner church filled with worshippers.
“I think that everyone should go to church and be filled with the Holy Spirit for the coming of the New Year. We can go partying after but it’s good to put God first and it the center of our lives you know?” – Jamaican male.
- Going Out
Partying is a common practice for Caribbean people on New Year’s Eve and many go out to enjoy themselves and revel in the celebrations. Wearing party favors to bring in the New Year, and watching the fireworks from the hills are also cheerful occasions where islanders socialize with their close friends and family. Others opt to go to a restaurant, formal or casual. Restaurants usually put on a show for their patrons for New Year’s Eve – giving them free wine and party favors to toast leading up to 12:01 a.m.
“I love going out with my friends or my family. Every year we have a tradition where we watch the fireworks show on the Waterfront in Downtown Kingston from a boat at sea. It’s really beautiful and bringing in the New Year with my parents, siblings and close friends make it all worth it… You’re never too old to enjoy a moment with your family and wish them all the best for the New Year.” – Jamaican female.
- Go to Friend’s House
With the Christmas feel of closeness still being an aura in the air, millions of Caribbean people like to carry on the tradition and use this time to visit friends. Whether they are watching the television and enjoying food,snacks, liquor, engaging in games, or other activities; it’s the camaraderie that matters most. They believe that bringing in the New Year with friends who they deem as close will give them reassurance that the friendships will last another year and beyond.
- Spend Time With Their Significant Other/ Family
Caribbean people see New Year’s Eve as a special time to cross the threshold of a new year with their significant other or with their family. Intimate activities such as: the family watching the ball drop and fireworks at New York’s Time Square while counting down to another year, or going out somewhere with the family or celebrating at the house, it doesn’t matter as long as they can enjoy the time together and reflect on the past year.
- Stay By Self At Home
Some loners stay in the comfort of their homes enjoy wine, ice-cream, chips, food, watch a movie, or watch the countdown on CNN. Some use this time to also make plans for the new year and re-evaluate the friendships that might have gone awry.
“I spend time at home, because I live by myself so I don’t have a choice where family is concerned, besides, I just appreciate the time alone – it’s pretty fast paced here. It’s too much stress to try and find someone to hang out with or somewhere to go.” – Barbadian student living in America.
By Alexandra Daley