The new year. It’s a time of renewal, resolution and celebration. One of the big decisions as we approach 2007 is how does one choose to celebrate? So what to do if you like to go out for New Year’s Eve? Most of your favorite bars will be open. Many will have music. A few events to consider:
· Lulu Small will be returning for her second appearance at Moosequito's in Sterling. She will start performing about 9:30 p.m. and see New Year’s in with her fans. Moosequito’s also will draw for a flat screen television to be raffled as a fundraiser for the Sterling Senior Center. There will be a shuttle to Soldotna for patrons who prefer not to drive. Call Debbie at 953-8456 to set up a ride.
· King’s Events will hold a New Year’s Eve bash from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai. This event is for middle- and high-school age students only. Mark King of King’s events has been working with area church youth groups to make this event possible and said there will be plenty of chaperones on site. Thera, Sorrow’s End, Cover Story and Savant will be the evening’s featured bands. Tickets are $2 and available at the door.
· The Crossing in Soldotna will have a party called Jazz Nights. Tickets are $100 per person, and the quantity is limited. Music will be provided by Bob Ramponi’s Alaska Swing Company. The evening will include five courses, a champagne toast and party favors. According to Cherie Curry, co-owner of the restaurant, staff will wear flapper costumes or zoot suits. She said people who attend are welcome to come dressed up, as well.
“When we first started, we didn’t really mention that, and then we got this idea with the girls to have fun with it and we started talking about having this jazz theme. People can come dressed however they want. From jeans to tuxedos,” Curry said.
Call The Crossing at 262-1906 to purchase tickets.
If you’re planning a party at home, one way to look at the passing of Father Time is to choose a theme, Curry said.
“I always try to have theme parties when I have parties at home. I think it gets people more in the spirit, and they always have something you know when you first walk in sometimes there’s that breaking the ice thing. And if everybody’s having fun with the theme, I think it kind of helps that.”
So how do you choose a theme? A potential party host might look at some of the different cultural traditions and rituals for inspiration.
One of the most familiar traditions to most Americans is the dropping of the ball in Times Square. According to the Times Square Alliance, the tradition started in 1907, and has dropped every year since, except 1942-43, when the ritual was eliminated as part of the “dimout” during World War II.
As the tradition continued, the ball design has taken on thematic meaning for the year. For 2007, the theme will be “Hope for Peace.” A way to emulate this tradition at your own New Year’s Eve celebration might be to decide on your own theme for the year.
As your guests arrive, ask them to submit their ideas for themes on post-its on a wall or other surface. As the midnight hour approaches, gather your guests for a summit and decide on your slogans. It makes for a great inside joke as you see these people over the course of 2007.
The Chinese New Year, actually in February, has a wide variety of traditions. The color red is considered lucky. Gifts of money given in small red packets are given over the course of the 15-day celebration. People greet each other only with wishes of good luck and prosperity as the New Year begins, so the year progresses. It is considered bad luck to cry during the New Year, as it means the year will be full of tears.
If you’re having guests in your home on New Year’s Eve, create your own tradition based on the good wishes of the Chinese. For example, give each of your guests a note card and a red envelope. Ask them to write down their wishes for themselves and their families on the card, put it in the envelope and seal it. Each guest should self-address his own envelope. In the days after your party, mail the cards to your guests.
A New Year’s Eve party can be a time to share new foods with family and friends.
The Chinese tradition includes a huge number of dumplings prepared for the New Year. In many countries, eating greens is considered lucky. According to Epicurious.com, the cooked greens look like folded money, and the more you eat, the more fortune you will have in the New Year. Ring shaped cakes create a nice representation of time on your table. Doughnuts are popular in Polish and Hungarian celebration. The Greek vasilopita is a ring-shaped cake with a coin inside, which will mean good fortune for the person who finds it in his piece of cake.
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