Happy New Year from eMoyo!
Many can say they are very happy to say farewell (or a slightly stronger word beginning with “F”) to 2020 and welcome 2021 with tentative open arms. eMoyo is looking forward to what the new year brings for all of us and we hope that you succeed in the new ventures planned ahead. We have every confidence in you “Cause Baby, You’re a Firework!” to quote Katy Perry. While you spend these last hours of 2020 with loved ones or doing what you do best; serving humanity, we hope these few interesting facts can brighten up your coffee break, and spark up a conversation.
Who Celebrates The New Year First?
You may have heard of a tiny island called Christmas Island, but did you know there is more than one island with this name? In the age of exploration, it was common for European sailors to name geographic features in honor of the day they were first sighted. Easter Island was first visited by a Dutch navigator on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1722. St. Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, just south of Java, is an Australian territory. It was named on Christmas Day, 1643 by an English sea captain. There’s a Christmas Island in the Central Pacific Ocean as well, visited by Captain Cook on Christmas Eve, 1777. Today it’s known as Kiritimati (pronounced Ki-ri-mass), because in Gilbertese; the language of the Republic of Kiribati, the letters “t-i” are pronounced with an ‘s’ sound. Kiritimati was officially moved west of the International Date Line in 1995 (skipping December 31st in 1994), in order to make it one of the first inhabited places on earth to celebrate the New Year every January 1.
A History Lesson We Can Relate To.
The first New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years. Julius Caesar, the emperor of Rome at that time, was the first to declare January 1st a national holiday. He named the month after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates. Janus had two faces, one looking forward and one looking back. As new year’s eve is a time when most people reflect on the past year, but also look forward to what possibilities the new year will bring, Caesar felt that a month named after this god would be fitting. Do you think Janus is sticking his tongue out at 2020? I think we all are!
Is Your Bubbly At The Ready?
Champagne has a lavish history dating back to the 16th century. Long before we started drinking bubbly to ring in the new year, European aristocrats, like Louis the XIV, were popping bottles at their royal parties. Later, the price of champagne declined, and producers started marketing it to “common folk”. Since the wine was long associated with nobility, adverts triumphed it as an aspirational drink. The new customers might not be able to afford to drink champagne as an everyday table wine, but they could afford it for special occasions. Champagne’s production skyrocketed from 300,000 to 20 million bottles per year between 1800 and 1850, as the world started ordering it more and more for ship christenings and new year celebrations. In 1891, the French established legal exclusivity to call their wines champagne, so any other bubbly is now called sparkling wine. Whether you call it champagne or sparkling wine here is a quote we can all relate to 2020: “If life brings you troubles, drink some Champagne, then your problems will just become bubbles… ” (If only…)
On Another Music Note:
Auld Lang Syne is a New Year’s tradition that is internationally recognised and sang at the top of our lungs briefly as the clock strikes 12. Unfortunately many of us have no idea what the words are or what they really mean.
Auld Lang Syne can be simply translated to “long long ago” and the Scottish poem can loosely be translated to the overall meaning “for the sake of old times” – we raise our glasses in celebration and to remember.
For those who would really like to sing a long this New Year’s Eve, here are the English lyrics to this classic:
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the hills, and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.