December 31: closing of one cycle, beginning of another

December 31: closing of one cycle, beginning of another


By Petra Joaquina

A year, be it terrestrial, sidereal or Julian year, refers to the orbital time of Earth, that is, the time it takes for the planet to make a complete revolution around the Sun.

With the end of this turn, the year ends and the next begins, and this peak moment has spread around the world as a holiday known in various ways.

New Year’s Eve is the last night of the year on the Gregorian calendar. It is usually celebrated since it was changed to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, although it has changed over the years and each one is celebrated according to the culture of the family or the country.

There are numerous traditions and superstitions that are manifested throughout the world in relation to that night. Music and fireworks accompany parties and social gatherings, a common way to carry out the celebration.

The most widespread custom is to toast with champagne or cider during the twelve chimes. In Cuba, these traditions vary according to the geography of the country. There is no lack of traditional food, consisting of a good congrí (black or red beans with rice), cassava with gravy, roast pork and vegetable salad, and for dessert, the famous buñuelos (dumplings).

All this preparation is accompanied by good Cuban music and there is no shortage of cocktails, rum or a refreshing cold beer. There are always stories about the experiences of the year that is ending and the dreams of the year to begin.

Already close to 12 midnight, seconds before the start of the new year, various traditions await with the countdown: a bucket of water is thrown to the street "put the bad out", the suitcase with wheels waits to go around the block and attract a trip abroad and a doll is burned in an act of cleansing and purification.

A few hours into 2021, the team of CubaPLUS magazine wishes all readers a prosperous new year and much happiness.