It seems to be that time of the year again when, according to ancient calendars, the world will come to an end. Not as dramatically as in the misinterpreted Maya calendar. I am referring to the calendars that only extend to 12 months and then force you to buy a new one. The company that chose 31 December as the end date for its calendars seems to have a particularly large number of customers, because these days I receive the question “What are you going to do for New Year’s Eve?” more often than usual.
But I never understood what is supposed to make that day special. The next day, there will be another day, just as long or short, just as cold or hot as the day before.
How confined does a life have to be when you need to postpone what you want to do until the last day of the year? Or is it rather a sign of how boring life is? In a half-hearted attempt to escape boredom, people who do the same for 364 days believe that they need to do something special on the 365th day. These extraordinary activities are highly thrilling things like meeting friends or going to a restaurant. Wow, how creative! We have never heard of that before.
Maybe the way people spend New Year’s Eve is quite a good symbol for their lives. The same people meet the same friends at the same place for the same activities, year after year. A year of routine fades out in routine, only to continue with more routine the next day. When you will get together with your friends this New Year’s Eve, don’t forget to take your calendars for 2017 and 2018 to set the date for the coming identical get-togethers.
So what will I do for New Year’s Eve 2016? I only know that I will be at Lake Titicaca, but it’s impossible to say what exactly I will do in two weeks. After all, I don’t know how the weather is going to be that day; let alone what I will feel like. Maybe I will even miss the alleged end of the year because I often fail to check the calendar or my watch for days. At midnight, when everyone else will smash themselves and other things, I am often already asleep.
Not only do I take issue with the absurdity of having one’s life governed by a date that was set arbitrarily centuries ago. I am much more worried about the concept of society that is propagandized by celebrating the New Year. Giving up one’s individuality, blindly following the masses, always doing the same things as everyone else – that’s how it begins. Those who party today because everyone is partying, will mindlessly participate in a genocide tomorrow. Today it’s New Year’s, tomorrow it will be fascism.
By the way, there is also no point in making New Year’s resolutions.
(This article also appeared on Medium. – Hier geht es zur deutschen Fassung.)
I agree, Andreas. The day is pretty much like any other day. I fail to see what’s the hoopla all about. Same goes with resolutions.
If I waited until 1 January with all my resolutions, I would forget most of them in the meantime.
Absolutely jealous here. Do you know which side of the Titicaca border you’ll be on?
I will be on the Peruvian side, mainly in Puno, for two weeks before I continue to Bolivia.
I have already visited both sides and like the Bolivian more because it’s greener and more beautiful to hike. And the Cordilleras in the background are a beautiful sight.
Well, from here in the East Coast of Gringolandia, either side sounds like an absolute dream. I agree it’s just one more day with no explanation as to why we should celebrate it, but New Years in La Paz was certainly more entertaining than any New Year’s I’ve spent here in the USA where people start drinking early in the evening, are drunk by 12 and passed out by 2 AM.