52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History 1 – New Year’s Day

That’s a long title and it’s going to get tedious as the weeks go on.

The question  is:

Week 1: New Year’s. Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?

The answer is no. It wasn’t. I don’t know anyone who celebrated New Year’s Day, certainly not in my extended family.

So we’ve had to make our own traditions. My husband and I used to do the NYE thing when we were younger.  These are from 1988. we had a great spot at Taronga Zoo, which is on the harbour at Mosman:

Carole at Taronga Zoo

1988 fireworks

As you can see, the fireworks were not as spectacular twenty years ago as they are today. Cameras didn’t take great pictures in low light either. These were scanned from prints. Actually the photos are from the Bicentennial celebrations on Australia Day, 26 January 1988, but you get the idea. I think this was the first year the Bridge was used for fireworks.

Sydney Harbour Bridge 1988

We still like the fireworks but we don’t go in to the city to see them in person any more. It’s all too much hassle. It took us nearly an hour just to get out of the Taronga Zoo car park that night in 1988. We’d had to camp all day to get a good spot, and that was even after buying two of the restricted number of tickets for Zoo Friends. We had the Zoo to entertain us but once we’d picked a spot we had to stay there.

These days we watch them on TV. Up until this year we had a tradition of getting takeaway Thai food, but this year we had leftover risotto. We drink champagne, or sparkling shiraz, and watch movies, interrupting them for the kids fireworks at 9 and the big ones at 12.

New Year's fireworks 2011

Courtesy Channel 9 Sydney

The TV is much bigger, and with a much better picture, than the one we would have watched in 1988. All the more reason to stay at home. We prefer watching movies at home these days too. A sign of age, or of better technology? Perhaps both.

I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do think about what I’ve achieved in the last year and what is ahead of me this year. Perhaps it’s time to formalise this process and write things down.

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