The New Year has just gone by and we are now in the period where we reel under its after-effects. As the years go by, the similar cycle of planning, celebration and post celebratory exhaustion repeats, albeit with a few changes here and there.

As the New Year’s Eve approaches, there is an excitement amongst everyone. Some are planning parties and get-togethers. Some are making travel plans with their friends and/or loved ones. Of course, for some professionals, it is a peak time for their businesses. So, whether they are party planners, hoteliers, chefs, bakers and all those serving in the hospitality industry, their planning would involve a mix of work and celebrations.

Meanwhile, various news channels, newspapers and magazines come up with their versions of the yearly round-ups. A summary of the past year’s happenings, a countdown of the best and the worst, of tragedies and of achievements – a bird’s eye view of the year gone by. There are fields of sports, politics, entertainment, environment and people. Performances in all these fields are laid open for debates and discussions.

The New Year is first celebrated in the Tonga, Samoa and parts of Kiribati. These small island nations in the Pacific Ocean ring in the New Year before anyone else. From there, as the hours advance, from East to West, the gala travels the whole world. American Samoa, in the Pacific Ocean, is the last inhabited island to ring in the New Year. The New Year arrives an hour later in the Baker and Howland islands, but they remain uninhabited. Interestingly, because of the various time zones involved along the International Date Line, it takes, not 24, but 26 hours for the New Year to travel the entire world. This means, that Tonga would already be in the 2nd of January, while Baker Island would still be waiting for the New Year to start.

It is a common sight for people to take photos and videos of the celebrations for preserving the sweet memories and recollecting them at a later date. But, over the past few years, a new trend has emerged, thanks to the boom of social media sites. No sooner than the moments have been frozen on cameras and phones, they are uploaded onto the sites and their statuses updated to pronounce to the world about their happy times. This “essential task” of status updating, takes up an extra hour after the celebrations, which alreadt goes into the wee hours of the morning of 1st January. The rest of the first day of the year is thus spent in catching up with the lost sleep of the previous night. However, the after-effects of the lost sleep remain for a few more days, before the body can regain its regular routine.

And then there is this age old tradition of making New Year resolutions. A bunch of resolutions are made by each, which is supposed to be implemented from the first day of the New Year. Resolutions, such as eating healthy food, exercising, following a healthy diet and daily routine, decreasing screen time and going out and meeting people, doing good deeds and spreading positivity, etc., etc.; all these wither away by the time the 2nd week of January starts. When the first few days of the New Year are spent in trying to get back into their regular routine, any new changes to it, is out of the question. Maybe, that is why, rarely a New Year resolution lasts beyond the first week.

Perhaps, a new resolution could be added, wherein the said resolutions would be implemented from the 2nd week of January. But again, if the resolutions are anyway meant to be broken, pushing the date further, would be of no use.

All in all, the New Year begins, with a renewed hope that things would be better this year. Whether following a resolution or not, a hope that lives would improve. Every year, people welcome the New Year with cheers, happiness and gaiety. Here’s hoping that this cheerfulness and happiness remains throughout the New Year. Now that is the after effect, I truly wish for after a joyous celebration.