This is the first time that I ever celebrated New Year outside of my country. This is my first time celebrating New Year here in Canada. Let me tell you, it’s really different.
I grew up looking forward to New Year because of all the noises and the firecrackers and the celebration that the people bring. Filipinos believe that loud noises shoos bad luck away and so we make lots of noises during New Year celebration. I remember looking outside to find my neighbours lighting up a fountain for everyone to see. It was a very pretty view. And then we light up our sparklers and dance around as we greet everyone, family, friends and neighbours, a Happy New Year. That was really a memory to behold.
New Year here in Canada (well Grande Prairie) is pretty silent (for me). No sparklers, no fountains, no street party, no drunk people outside your house shouting Happy New Year. It was peaceful because I don’t think anyone lost their fingers but it was also very new… very sad for me. Well I do understand that you don’t have to shout or make lots of noises to celebrate but this is not what I’m used to.
There was actually a fireworks on New Year’s Eve and it was very pretty. We were able to see it from our living room and that was very comforting to see. With all the colours and explosions, it was nice.
Waiting for 12 midnight wasn’t as fun as how it was back then. Before, I would be so excited for it. I used to sleep early, around 7 pm, then wake up around 10 or 11 pm as to not miss the countdowns. All night you can hear firecrackers and people shouting outside the house, all eager for the New Year to come. When New Year comes, some of us would jump for the hope of becoming taller or just for the heck of it. However, this year’s New Year is something that I didn’t really look forward to. I didn’t sleep because I have to prepare the house because some friends would be celebrating the New Year with us. I didn’t have anyone at home because my mom was at work and would be home at 11:30. Waiting for the New Year wasn’t half as fun as before. I felt lonely and sad.
My feelings for this year’s New Year celebrations is mixed. I felt lonely because who wouldn’t be? I only celebrated it with my mom and some friends when before I celebrated it with lots of family members. There were noise everywhere and sparklers and fountain and firecrackers back home and there’s just snow here. I used to receive text messages from friends greeting me a Happy New Year but what I get now are just FB messages. Nevertheless, I also felt happy. Why? Because after more than five years, I finally celebrated Christmas and New Year with my mom. It’s something that I looked forward to despite of all my sad and lonely musings about this year’s first day celebration. It’s something that I treasure and celebrate.
New Year celebration is definitely different back home. However, comparing things (which I just did) won’t change anything and would just make me more homesick. But whatever. What’s great is that I get to welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse, 2014! :)
video: Cagayan de Oro 2014 New Year’s Celebration