Today’s Writing Prompt is…
I cannot remember one specific New Years Celebration that stood out however when I was a young woman in my 20s I can recall going to Watch Night Service on New Year’s Eve. Watch Night Service is a special church service where you pray in the New Year.
Then after the church service was over I would just hang out with my friends probably going to somebody’s home. Transportation was no problem as during this time period in the 1980s I remember the Mayor of New York and the MTA offered Free Rides on the subways and buses. I suppose that was to protect inebriated New Yorkers who had over done their New Year’s Eve Celebrations.
I was brought up as a Baptist but attended other Christian denominations where I had the opportunity to enjoy various celebrations. Whether I went out or not when the Ball dropped in Times Square and Guy Lombardo played Auld Lang Syne my family would have a small toast, kiss and wish each other Happy New Year!
In recent years I’ve had the pleasure of attending my Japanese girlfriend New Years Day service at her Buddhist Temple located in White Plains, NY. At the Temple I saw and heard powerful performances of the Taiko Drums. Also I’ve gone to Asian (what many call Chinese New Year but most Asians use the same zodiac calendar) New Year Celebrations. I’ve seen the Dragon Dance, eaten traditional Japanese foods which are delicious and the Buddhist ministers acknowledge those born in the year of the goat, horse, or whatever animal is represented for that particular year. I was born in the Year of the Boar and when that year comes I will make it a point to take off and attend as many services as I can get to. I am a Member of Shinnyo-en Buddhism but due to work concerns I can’t get out to services as much as I would like. And No you are not required to convert to Buddhism. I’m still a Christian and still acknowledge Jesus as My Lord and Savior but I’m open to benefits from other faiths. Actually I find Buddhism more of a philosophy than a religion as the Buddha never said that he was God. As my Japanese girlfriend puts it, Shinnyo-en is where Jesus and Buddha shake hands. Many Americans of all faiths, races and backgrounds go to the Temple for meditation and uplift. So no different from a Christian church.
“Auld Lang Syne” (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːl(d) lɑŋˈsəin]: note “s” rather than “z”) is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight.
As I’ve gotten older I no longer attend Church on a regular basis and it’s way too dangerous to be out on the streets late at night I spend my New Year’s Eve’s with my cat Sylvester. I’m not even certain if Church’s still have Watch Night Service but as both Christmas and New Years fell on a Sunday this holiday season I’m certain many church goers just attended their regular day time church services.
The following song by Dan Fogelberg has nothing to do with the traditional Auld Lang Syne but I like the song.
Dan Fogelberg – Same Old Lang Syne (from Live: Greetings from the West)
My parents Generation Auld Lang Syne
Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians — Auld Lang Syne (VintageMusic.es)