Ghanaians prepare to usher in 2020

Accra It is the last day of 2019, and Ghanaians, like other citizens across the world, are preparing to push right into the new year with hope and high expectations of enjoying more fulfilling lives.

As has been the tradition, they are making resolutions for a successful New Year – setting out their plans to achieve their dreams.

Mr Ernest Ansah, a public servant, says his desire is to start a business that will rake in some profit to end his financial cycle of hand to mouth.

Man tire, my sister, he told the Ghana News Agency reporter in local parlance. I need a breakthrough in 2020, so I’m asking God for brilliant ideas, while I work on myself to be more disciplined and progressive”.

For Ms Salome Aggor, a seamstress, her wish is to be a better manager of her business, a better wife and parent, and a more devoted Christian.

She would also like to see a more united, peaceful and prosperous Ghana to set the pace for a steady national development into the next decade.

Similarly, many people of faith are praying to their God to ask for their lives to get better in the New Year.

Christians usually spend the eve of the New Year at watchnight services to show their gratitude to the Good Lord and to ask for protection and strength for the coming year.

Across the world, many celebrants also usher in the New Year with spectacular fireworks display, bonfires, street jams, parties, count down events and bingeing.

However, over the centuries, there have been some very unique celebrations that have made the record in the media, historical files and on the iterinary of tourists.

According to the Britannica, the earliest known record of a New Year festival dates from about 2000 BCE in Mesopotamia, where in Babylonia, the New Year (Akitu) began with the new moon after the spring equinox (mid-March).

On the Roman republican calendar, the year began on March 1, but after 153 BCE, the official date was January 1, which was continued in the Julian calendar of 46 BCE.

According to insider.com, traditionally, Siberia witnesses trees planted underneath frozen lakes and rivers on New Year’s Eve as a symbol for starting over.

In Spain, Spaniards practically stuff their mouths with 12 grapes, one each second after midnight to ward off bad luck for the New Year.

In the United States and Canada, people believe that a midnight kiss on New Year’s Eve seals one’s fate for the year to come. For instance, giving someone a special kiss in North America at midnight on a New Year indicates that, that person would set the tone for the coming year.

Brazilians throw white flowers and candles into the ocean on New Year’s Eve as an offering to the Goddess of the Sea, who is believed to bless mothers and children.

In parts of Asia, such as China, people paint their front doors ‘red’ for good luck, as red is considered the happiest colour in China.

The Danes also consider the smashing of plates on New Year’s Eve as a good luck, while in Italy, people wear red underwear to be lucky in love in the New Year.

New Year’s bells are rang exactly 108 times at midnight throughout Japan for good luck; whereas people set dummies or scarecrows on fire for the New Year to leave the bad behind in Colombia and Ecuador.

In Greek, people hang onions on their front doors on New Year’s Eve to signify rebirth and regrowth.

In Chile, they spend the night in cemeteries to ring in the New Year with loved ones who have died.

In Romania, people dress up like bears and dance on New Year to ward off bad spirits.

Source: Ghana News Agency