A Brand New Year

TICK, tock, tick, tock …the dawn of a new day signals the emergence of a new year.

Many embrace it reverently recognizing it as a gift from The Omnipotent. As such, within the Island Neighbours church services are held in thanksgiving for yearly achievements and good health and wealth.

For many, it is the only meeting with God in a church setting – one that is often done in fear and thanksgiving till the next year presents itself. For others, it is a yearly tradition – one that is malnourished and pregnant with insignificant rituals.

As commercialization stamps New Year celebrations, people become more engrossed in uncontrollable, gluttonous drinking and impulsive buying. In spite of the “feting”, some meaningful traditions remain within the Island Neighbours. In Martinique, grapes are eaten at each toll of the bells for good luck. Drivers also honk horns and fireworks are lit as the New Year is born. In “the nature isle” women thoroughly scrub the perceived yearly filth from their homes in anticipation of the New Year.

Additionally, traditional colours are worn to signify one’s desire for the year; green for wealth, yellow for an improvement in one’s professional career, white to ensure good health and red to secure a bright future.

Of all the activities, the ushering of the New Year with a parade of fireworks remains one of the most anticipated activities of the season. Everywhere, fireworks explode to welcome a new year with new discoveries, new love, new hope and new aspirations. As you dazzle in the New Year moment this year, take some time to formulate some plans of your own. Here are some tips to ensure that your New Year resolutions are formulated to chart a new course forward:

1. Be specific in setting your goals. Make sure that your goals are measurable.
2. Set a reasonable time line to achieve your goals. Remember to make allowances for interruptions and unforeseen events.
3. Create a display wall for your goals. Ensure that they are displayed in a strategic location.
What are your plans for the New Year? Share with us on Facebook: Island Neighbours.

Make your New Year’s celebration one with a difference this year. Why don’t you spice it up with some jazz if you’re in the nature isle? The Loft presents Arts and Jazz – an event featuring live poetry and music from the 8th Note Jazz Band. The event also features a book launch from Kristine Simelda – River of Fire. This celebration takes place on Saturday 31st December 2016 from 7 p.m.

Neighbourly GetAways
Forget the traditional fireworks and champagne toasts this year and dive into Dominica’s Champagne Reef. This unique structure features thousands of bubbles rising to the surface from active fumaroles. Take a friend and dive into the bubbly ocean as the New Year emerges. In Martinique, make your New Year’s Eve memorable in Fort de France for Boucans de la Baie. Enjoy midnight shopping, museum visits and magnificent fireworks in a romantic, European setting. In Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe, “La Basilique Saint Pierre et Saint Paul” is a basilica which was labeled a historical monument in 1978. This basilica is one of the few buildings in Guadeloupe to survive the many natural disasters of Pointe-a- Pitre. In Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe visit “L’église de baie” – Church of the Bay. This church lies on the site of the sanctuary ravaged by the 1928 cyclone.

Historical note! Pointe-a-Pitre, the commercial centre of Guadeloupe is built on a limestone plateau. Did you know that Dominica was one of the Leeward Islands until December 31st 1939? Get to know your neighbours!

A bit of the French for the Visitor
Jour de l’An et messe de minuit
Happy New Year: Bonne Année
Happy New Year and Wish of good health: Bonne Anée et bonne santé
New Year’s resolution: Une bonne resolution
New Year’s Gifts: Les étrennes
Mistletoe: Le gui
New Year’s Day: Le jour de l’An / La Saint-Sylvestre
Christianity: Le christianisme
Pope: Le Pape
Atheism: l’athéisme
Hope: L’espoir
Faith: La foi
Prayer: Une Prière
Sins: Les Péchés
To go to church: Aller á l’église
Belief: Les croyances

1 Comment

  1. La voix des sens.
    ( third version )

    Dans la nature
    des sourires,
    et dans l’aube
    de l’espoir qui
    dépeint le matin,
    une image s’évanouit
    en créant le profil
    de la prairie silencieuse
    qui chante la tristesse
    et puis donne le
    soupir d’un moineau

    Francesco Sinibaldi

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