The end of the year can be a challenge for those disappointed by their current circumstances, or those overwhelmed by all they feel compelled to change, accomplish or fix in the coming year. Resolutions are always a big deal. Perhaps you’re among the many who’ve decided to stop making grand declarations. You’ll do the best you can and just simply try to enjoy life. Whatever your sentiment about the New Year, there’s no denying that it profoundly represents a new beginning and a reminder to embrace that attitude every day.

Jamaican New Year’s Eve Traditions

As is common to all cultures, for a variety of reasons, traditions fade over time. The elders in our community will smile as they talk about the way things used to be. The same is true for New Year’s celebrations in Jamaica where long-held traditions gave us practices such as:

  • Cleaning house – heaven forbid you carry 2016 dirt over into 2017! There are many Jamaicans who thoroughly clean their homes to get a truly fresh start to the New Year.
  • New Year’s Eve parties – there is nothing like a Jamaican party, and a New Year’s Eve is perhaps the biggest of all. From “grand balls” to casual street gatherings, the festivities are much-anticipated. There is no shortage of events for those wanting to “ring in” or “bring in” the New Year.

  • Watch Night – Jamaicans always have to give a special name to everything. “Watch Night” applies to all festivities centred around watching and waiting for the New Year. Many prefer to attend Watch Night church services. These services are the activity of choice for devout Christians and often, for those who have made the decision to change their lifestyle in the coming year.

The moment the clock strikes midnight, shouts of “Happy New Year!” ring out. As you make your way home and for a few days later, you are greeted by smiling faces and best wishes for the New Year.

Here’s to a Blessed New Year

As a people, although we’ve let go of many long-held traditions, we never cease to be hopeful — no matter the current circumstances. The New Year is just an amped-up reflection of that indomitable spirit.

So whether or not you believe in making resolutions, it’s never a bad idea to embrace the New Year with optimism. National Baking Company wishes the best to you and yours, and that 2017 will be your best year yet!

Image provided by Thinkrstock