New Year is the time to look forward as well as back at what we have come through – the good and the not so good.
The word January comes from the Roman divinity, Janus with 2 heads – one which looks forward and one which looks back.
It is a time we pause, take stock to march forward.
It is like the time when the molting snake sheds its old skin, the past and wriggles out with a new skin to the next phase out its life.
It is like how the American eagle sheds its old feathers and beak, gains new ones for its next phase of life.
This shedding of the past and adopting the new is not just to humans and calendars but to animals too as we see here.
In the Indian ethos we have festivals such as Lohri in Punjab where the old articles are burnt in the bonfire. We see the same practice in Deep South in Tamil Nadu where the old things are discarded in the bon fire during Bhogi.
This is one way of symbolically ringing out the old and ringing in the new. Be it the temple bells or church bells symbolize this ringing out the old and ringing in of the new.
So New Year is now just a calendar but also harbinger of change. Change happens through a revolution which is generally violent. Change can happen through celebration.
So let us welcome this New Year, this Change, with Celebration.