The most dreaded day of the year is over and we can all move on and welcome in 2013. I mean I'm glad that New Year's Eve is over.
I didn't always feel like this. The last day of the year always used to be cause for celebration, taking stock of the year behind me and looking forward to the year ahead. It was a night for fun spent with friends and family. A party night.
In the Netherlands however, the last day of the year is like entering a war zone. Normal people who wouldn't normally be associated with vandalism and causing a public nuisance suddenly develop the need to walk around town with a rucksack filled with fireworks, setting them off to cause the most noise and destruction possible. This means that rubbish bins are removed or sealed off, bus shelters are boarded up, post box openings are made so small you can barely get a letter through it and the local council sends out a brochure in which it recommends that you seal your letter box off with tape around New Year. Sounds like a real party huh?
Our street is a sea of red from the rubbish from fireworks set off on 31st December. Unfortunately those in our street responsible for all the fireworks set off are also the ones who seem only to be able to clear the direct area outside their own houses. Our garden is littered with firework trash from our neighbours. What a party that is to clean up.
And the best bit of all is reading on New Year's Day that the "celebrations" the night before were quite quiet and uneventful because only dozens of arrests were made in one town, only ten people were admitted with firework injuries at a hospital, only one young boy lost his hand, one station was vandalised, emergency workers were attacked, the fire brigade went from one fire to another..... you get the picture. Sounds like a real party huh?
What is great to see is the 'normal' display of fireworks set off across the country at midnight. Luckily the majority of Dutch people know what fireworks are for... and know how to welcome in 2013!
I hope that 2013 is a great year for you all and stealing the sentiment of a friend posted on Facebook:
"Forget the diets and the resolutions you always break.......just be the best you can be."
Happy New Year!!!