Looking Back At New Year’s Eve Celebrations Of The Past

As I have grown older I keep thinking back to happier and more pleasant times. As it is New Year’s Eve I have been going through my blog to see what I was upto the past few years on this day. The last few years have been mostly spent at home with just my parents and sometimes my sister & niece will also join in. We eat a quiet dinner and maybe some ice cream or cake.

I remember a couple of New Year’s eve was spent with friends and those are very special to me. Also a couple of years, back in 2006 and 2007, my extended family and I have had parties in a home and those were some of my favourite moments of all time. They remind me of when were were much younger and had spent New Year’s eve parties in our grandmother’s house. All those years where as kids we were not allowed to go out in the area but instead would get some food by 7pm and play songs all night and wish each other happy new year over ice cream or cold drinks.

I remember 2003’s New Year. For some reason I was alone and waiting for a call back from the job I had applied to. I was upset about a couple of things and I was out in the town and by lunch, I was in a bar near my house and had some lunch and a couple of beers and tears were streaming down my eyes. But then I got a call from the HR manager of the job that I had applied to and he told me that I could join the next week. That put me in a great mood.

Another New Year’s eve, a few years earlier – I think it was 1998 or 1999 – I was at home and we were watching Titanic with my mom and my sister’s mother-in-law. I think it was 1999 as my sister had her second son born a couple of months before that and that would explain why she was there. It was a boring New Year’s eve. I am not remember any other memorable New Year’s eve.

RIP Tom Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson, the Oscar-nominated British actor known for his roles in “The Full Monty,” “Michael Clayton” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” has died, his family said. He was 75. A statement shared by his agent on behalf of the family said Wilkinson died suddenly at home on Saturday. It didn’t provide further details. , he received numerous accolades including a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award as well as nominations for two Academy Awards and two Laurence Olivier Awards. In 2005, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).Wilkinson was nominated for a best actor Academy Award for his work in 2001’s family drama “In The Bedroom” and in the best supporting actor category for his role in “Michael Clayton,” a 2007 legal thriller that starred George Clooney.

He is remembered by many in Britain and beyond for playing former steel mill foreman Gerald Cooper in the 1997 comedy “The Full Monty,” about a group of unemployed steel workers who formed an unlikely male stripping act. Wilkinson was born in Yorkshire in northern England in 1948 and spent part of his childhood in Canada. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the 1970s. He starred in dozens of other TV dramas and movies, from “Rush Hour” and “Batman Begins” to “Shakespeare in Love,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Valkyrie.”

He became known as a character actor, acting in numerous films such as In the Name of the Father (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Patriot (2000), Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Batman Begins (2005), Valkyrie (2008), The Ghost Writer (2010), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), Belle (2013), Selma (2014), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Denial (2016). He portrayed Carmine Falcone in Christopher Nolan’s superhero film Batman Begins (2005). He also acted in films such as the horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Julian Fellowes’ drama Separate Lies (2005), and Woody Allen’s Cassandra’s Dream (2007).

Wilkinson lived in North London with his wife, actress Diana Hardcastle. They had two daughters together, Alice (born in 1989) and Molly (born in 1991). Wilkinson died suddenly at his home on 30 December 2023, at the age of 75.

The Different Food Traditions of New Years Day

Ham is often a holiday centerpiece, but pork is specifically thought to bring good luck on New Year’s Day. So why is pork a New Year’s food tradition?

First, it has to do with the way pigs behave differently than other animals. According to some theorists, while chickens and turkeys scratch backward, a pig buries his snout into the ground and moves forward—in the same direction you want to head in the new year. Another reason is logistics: Pigs are traditionally slaughtered in late fall, which makes pork an ideal choice to set aside for celebrating the new year. Finally, pork (and cabbage) eaten on New Year’s is a German and Eastern European tradition brought to America by early settlers. Start your new year off right with these Barbecue Pork Sandwiches With Crunchy Coleslaw.

Rice is a staple of New Year’s celebrations in Asia—and in the South, where it’s paired with red beans for Hoppin’ John, which is served on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to bring prosperity and luck. It’s associated with prosperity and good luck, and in India, it’s believed it can take away bad omens. You could try a simple red beans and rice recipe, or serve it up Asian style with a chicken congee.

Fish is another common dish on plates around the world on New Year’s—especially in cultures close to water. For example, in Scandinavian countries, herring was considered a harbinger of good fortune, especially as the silver-scaled fish called to mind valuable money. Herring, heavily traded, was also essential to the country’s prosperity. Eating herring was a way to hope for a good catch in the months to come because herring had unpredictable migration patterns, and a good year didn’t necessarily indicate the next year would be as successful. Today, herring still symbolizes good fortune, making it an excellent option for a New Year’s appetizer.

In China, Japan, and many other Asian countries, it’s customary to serve and eat noodles on New Year’s Day. Their length symbolizes longevity—so make sure not to break or shorten the noodles during the cooking process. Serve soba noodles, udon, sesame stir-fried noodles, or try this delicious recipe for Spicy Coconut Noodles.

In Filipino culture, New Year’s Eve is traditionally celebrated with 12 types of fruit. They choose 12 specifically to symbolize each month. Filipinos tend to prefer round fruits, but  mangoes  and watermelon  also make the cut. In Mexico, grapes are eaten at midnight to symbolize the year ahead. In China and other Asian countries, oranges are prized for their round shape and gold-like hue as a representation of good fortune. Throughout the world, pomegranates, a symbol of fertility and birth, are eaten at the new year. A jewel-toned slice of Pomegranate-Almond Toast is an easy and delicious way to start the New Year on the right foot.

Dumplings are a pan-culture holiday favorite, with every country having their own take on it. Dumplings are a big part of Lunar New Year celebrations, as their shape resembles money bags. You’re encouraged to eat plenty of dumplings, to help bring you wealth and good fortune in the New Year.

Arsenal 0 West Ham United 2

West Ham stunned Arsenal to record a third successive Premier League victory, denting the Gunners’ title challenge in the process. It was a ruthless display by West Ham, who converted two of their three shots on target, while Arsenal squandered a host of opportunities as they missed the chance to move top of the league. Tomas Soucek fired in Jarrod Bowen’s cutback and, while the ball had potentially gone out of play in the build-up, there was not enough evidence for the video assistant referee to overturn the goal. That gave West Ham a first-half lead which was doubled when former Arsenal centre-back Konstantinos Mavropanos expertly headed in a corner in the 55th minute. Despite plenty of possession and pressure, Arsenal could not find a response.

And their woeful night was nearly made worse when Declan Rice gave away a penalty in the final minute of injury time, but Said Benrahma’s effort was saved by David Raya. The result leaves Mikel Arteta’s Gunners second in the table, two points behind league leaders Liverpool, while West Ham end the year with 33 points – their highest total at the halfway stage in a Premier League campaign. Arsenal’s undoing was their inability to convert dominance and possession into goals. As the match wore on, their failure to capitalise only led to frustration – not only on the pitch but also in the stands, as fans grew weary and the atmosphere drained at Emirates Stadium.

Opportunities were spurned as Bukayo Saka struck the post in the first half, Gabriel Martinelli fired wide and Gabriel Jesus headed high. Ex-West Ham captain Rice later fizzed an effort over the bar, before Hammers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola denied Leandro Trossard and Martin Odegaard. It was a stark contrast to West Ham’s fortunes and the visitors were able to brilliantly fend off countless attacks with selfless defending. Arsenal’s lack of ruthlessness could prove costly with five teams sitting within six points of each other at the top of the Premier League. There is little room for error.

Five More Movies Set During New Year’s Eve

Poseidon is a 2006 American action disaster film directed and co-produced by Wolfgang Petersen. It is the third film adaptation of Paul Gallico’s 1969 novel The Poseidon Adventure, and a loose remake of the 1972 film of the same name. It stars Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas and Richard Dreyfuss with Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett, Mike Vogel, MĂ­a Maestro, Jimmy Bennett and Andre Braugher in supporting roles. It was produced and distributed by Warner Bros. in association with Virtual Studios. The tragedy strikes on New Year’s Eve.

Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis, with a screenplay by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod. Starring Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, and Jamie Lee Curtis, the film tells the story of an upper-class commodities broker (Aykroyd) and a poor street hustler (Murphy) whose lives cross when they are unwittingly made the subject of an elaborate bet to test how each man will perform when their life circumstances are swapped. Part of the action is set during New Year’s Eve.

End of Days is a 1999 American action horror film directed by Peter Hyams and written by Andrew W. Marlowe. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger with Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollak, Rod Steiger, CCH Pounder, Miriam Margolyes and Udo Kier. The film follows alcoholic former New York Police Department detective Jericho Cane (Schwarzenegger) who, after he saves a banker (Byrne) from an assassin, finds himself embroiled in a religious conflict and must protect an innocent young woman (Tunney) who is chosen by evil forces to conceive the Antichrist with Satan. The showdown with Satan is on New Year’s Eve, 1999.

The Time Machine (also marketed as H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine) is a 1960 American period post-apocalyptic science fiction film based on the 1895 novella of the same name by H. G. Wells. It was produced and directed by George Pal, and stars Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, and Alan Young. The story is set in Victorian England and follows an inventor who constructs a machine that enables him to travel into the distant future. Once there, he discovers that mankind’s descendants have divided into two species, the passive, childlike, and vegetarian Eloi and the underground-dwelling Morlocks, who feed on the Eloi. The initial discussion where George shows his friends the miniature time machine and then when he goes forwards in time is on New Year’s Eve.

Survivor is a 2015 action spy thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by Philip Shelby. The film stars Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Dylan McDermott, Robert Forster, Angela Bassett, Roger Rees, Antonia Thomas, James D’Arcy, Frances de la Tour and Genevieve O’Reilly. Kate’s efforts uncover a plan to detonate another bomb at Times Square in New York City during the New Year’s Eve celebrations and the showdown happens at the event.


7. Haiti: Sharing soup joumou

“January 1 is actually Haitian Independence Day,” says Olivier Joseph, a graduate student at Pritzker School of Medicine in Chicago. Because of that, there’s an important New Year’s traditional meal associated with the holiday. “We eat pumpkin soup, soup joumou, because it was a delicacy that enslaved Black people were not allowed to have. We often go to other people’s houses and bring some of our soup and swap for some of theirs—everyone makes it a little different.”

8. Denmark: Throwing old plates

Chucking plates at your friends usually signals a conversation gone very wrong. In Denmark, however, New Year’s Eve traditions like this bring your loved ones the best luck. Tradition has it that the more broken kitchenware you accumulate on your door step, the better off you’ll be.

9. Canada: Going ice fishing

Freezing temps don’t keep Canadians from starting the new year with a winter favorite sport—ice fishing. According to Global News, families will rent heated huts and cooking equipment so that they can enjoy their feast with loved ones on the spot.

10. Philippines: Serving 12 round fruits

On New Year’s Eve, families in the Philippines make sure to serve 12 round fruits, like apples, grapes, and plums, which are believed to represent prosperity due to their shape, which mirrors coins. As for the lucky number, each fruit represents one month out of the year.

11. Mexico: Giving the gift of homemade tamales 

In Mexico families gather to make New Year’s Eve food—specifically tamales, which are corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and veggies all wrapped in husks—and then hand them out to loved ones on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, the warm pockets are often served with menudo, a traditional Mexican soup made from cow’s stomach.

12. Norway and Denmark: Celebrating with a towering cake

Kransekake, a traditional ringed cake often made with at least 18 layers, is eaten in both Denmark and Norway on New Year’s Eve. The sugary layers, which look like cookies, are held together with a tasty royal icing.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve Around the World : First 6 Countries

Celebrating New Year’s Eve Around the World : Take a virtual trip and explore how different cultures welcome the new year.

1. United States: Watching the ball drop

Millions of Americans gather around their television sets (or on the streets of Times Square, despite freezing temps) to watch the ball drop at the stroke of midnight each year. Kicking off in 1907 to ring in January 1908, New York Times owner Adolph Ochs created the event to draw attention to the Times’s new headquarters, and it’s been an annual spectacle and one of the most popular New Year’s Eve celebrations ever since.

2. Brazil: Heading to the beach

“In Brazil, people usually go to the beach since it’s the summer there,” says Hudson Bohr, a Brazilian photographer based in NYC. “Immediately after midnight, you’re supposed to jump seven waves while making seven wishes.” The tradition is rooted in paying homage to Yemanja, the goddess of water. “Before you get in the water, you’re supposed to wear all white, as it symbolizes purity,” he explains.

3. Spain: Eating 12 grapes

The Spanish start off their new year by eating 12 grapes, which symbolize each strike of the clock. The tradition of las doce uvas de la suerte started in the late 19th century and is believed to ward off evil while boosting your chances of a prosperous and lucky new year. However, this will work only if you manage to eat all of the grapes in a matter of seconds since they need to be gone by the time the clock finishes striking midnight.

4. India: Building a sculpture of an old man and burning it down

“Back in Bombay we’d make an effigy of an ‘old man’ that symbolized the old year and burn it at midnight,” says Stephanie Fernandes, an associate creative director at BBDO San Francisco. The burning symbolizes the passing of grievances from the old year and makes space for a new year to be born. “Everyone would gather around singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and then it would turn into a little party. Bombay is very cosmopolitan and was home to people of various faiths; therefore, we’d have a ton of different festivals, but this was one that united across ages and faiths.”

5. Japan: Eating soba noodles

Here’s a New Year’s Eve appetizer idea: People in Japan kick off the New Year by eating a warm bowl of soba noodles. The tradition dates back to the Kamakura period and is tied to a Buddhist temple giving out the noodles to the poor. Because the long thin noodles are firm yet easy to bite, it is believed eating them symbolizes a literal break away from the old year.

6. France: Feasting with Champagne

While the notion of drinking wine in France is about as groundbreaking as florals for spring, the French up the ante and go all out on Champagne to celebrate the New Year. There is usually plenty of dancing and party hopping, but the food choices, however, remain the same: sparkling wines are paired with oysters, turkey, goose, or a Cornish hen.

Prompt from 31 Festive Blog Prompts to Spark Your December Writing at Goodvibesonthego.com

Scariest Places In The World : Skinwalker Ranch, Utah (Part 1)

Skinwalker Ranch has been the epicentre of extra-terrestrial and paranormal activity for decades. More recently, the Sky HISTORY show Curse of Skinwalker Ranch has brought the 512-acre plot of land in northeastern Utah to the masses, spreading its remarkable tales of UFO encounters, crop circles, cattle mutilations, and shapeshifting creatures.

1. 300 years of UFO sightings

Skinwalker Ranch is located in the Uinta Basin. The entire Basin in northeast Utah is a renowned UFO hotspot with sightings in the area dating back to the 1700s. Early Spanish explorers following the trade route through the Uinta Basin told stories of strange crafts flying above their campfires at night. UFO sightings ramped up a notch during the 1950s when hundreds of reports of bizarre lights in the sky began to flood in. Sightings became so commonplace that by the 1970s local police forces had stopped filling out incident reports.

2. The ranch borders a Ute Indian reservation

Running adjacent to the Skinwalker Ranch is the Ute Indian reservation. Created during the mid-19th century by the executive order of President Abraham Lincoln, the reservation covers an area of 4.5 million acres.

3. The land is said to be cursed

The sworn enemy of the Ute was the Navajo tribe. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), some Ute bands joined with U.S. military forces against the Navajo. The Navajo were defeated and banished from their lands, forced to march to a reservation in New Mexico. The event is known as the Long Walk, which took two months and resulted in the deaths of at least 200 Navajo. Local legend attests that the Navajo put a curse on the Ute tribe, unleashing malevolent spirits to roam the land in which the Ute lived. In Navajo culture, those spirits are known as skinwalkers, evil witches that can shapeshift into a multitude of different creatures. With the entire Uintah Basin said to be plagued by skinwalkers, it’s no wonder the ranch is named after them.

4. Things changed in the 90s

Although reports of UFOs and skinwalkers existed in the area for decades, Skinwalker Ranch didn’t acquire its reputation as a hotbed of paranormal activity until the early 90s. Before that, it was the home of the Myers family who established various homesteads on the property. Living there until 1987, their tenure was a relatively quiet one with little to no strange activities being reported by them. However, things got weird in 1994, when Terry and Gwen Sherman purchased the ranch after it had laid empty for the past seven years. During the next two years, the Shermans were plagued by paranormal activity which quite literally drove them from the property.

Some Tips Before You Start Your Own Podcast

Develop a podcast concept

Choosing the right podcast concept for your new podcast is a big part of attracting the right listeners and staying committed to your show.

Follow these tips to narrow your niche and clarify your message.

Define your goals

Why do you want to start a podcast? It’s important to know your why, even if it’s to have fun with friends.

Some good reasons for starting a podcast are:

  • to generate leads for a business
  • be recognized as an industry leader
  • share an important message

Pick a podcast theme or topic

You should feel excited to regularly discuss and research your podcast topic. The more you enjoy your topic, the less likely you’ll experience podfade. Once you have some ideas, do some market research to survey the competition in your genre.

Make it specific

When you zero in on a niche, you attract a more specific and engaged audience. Podcasts that appeal to a broad audience can end up reaching fewer people. People are also more likely to recommend a niche podcast to a friend than a generic one. To make your podcast niche, focus on a sub-category or sub-demographic. Drill down on what makes your podcast different. What unique perspective can you bring to your podcast’s topic?

Boring For Most But Comfortable For Me Christmas 3 Day Weekend

The 3 day weekend went by like a breeze. Why do they go by so quickly? Anyways I came home on Friday and reached only by 7:30 pm due to a huge traffic block of shoppers and people going out of town. I didn’t do anything for the evening, just chilled and listened to some music and went to bed by 11 pm. Saturday, I woke up by 8 am and relaxed with some coffee and then had breakfast. I went out for a little bit, as one of my medicines could only be purchased at Ravipuram.

So I booked a cab and went to get the medicine and then went to Starbucks. I watched reels on my phone and enjoyed the frappe before coming back home for a light lunch and then lay back in bed to watch 1992’s classic Disney Animated film Aladdin! The evening and night were spent watching some vlogs and listening to music and we had spicy alfahm chicken for dinner. Sunday morning was the usual but then I watched the horror-alien invasion flick No One Will Save You and then at night I watched Gremlins. The latter of which is one of my top 3 Christmas movies.

Monday, Christmas day, I wasn’t sure what we were going to do. At first my sister wanted to go out but my dad as having a bit of back pain so he wanted to stay in. We ended up spending the afternoon at my apartment, with my sister buying us some biryani and porotta and chicken chilli fry for lunch and I bought everyone ice cream sundaes from Caravan that we got delivered here. All stuffed, while they watched a movie, I went to my room and watched Apocalypto and almost fell asleep. Evening was spent with some tea, a hot shower and music and for dinner we had left overs. Early bed time too.

Three things you love about Christmas and three things you hate about it

Make a list of three things you love about Christmas and three things you hate about it.

Three things I love about the Holiday season

  • I love the idea of a Christmas/Yule holiday season or atleast what is shown on North American and some European countries. Snow outside, a fully decorated, tree inside the house in the corner of the living room, with lots of presents at the bottom, Hot chocolate, marshmallows, coffee with Baileys, eggnog, roast chicken, lots of other good food, cake and what not. Kids in pjs excited over their breakfast and gifts and the family dogs & cats also getting their gifts. It’s a warm cozy feeling.
  • The giving and receiving of gifts. Ok, we don’ really do that in India but atleast we have the obligatory office Secret Santa thingy and do atleast get 1 gift a year :D But yes in the countries that do, I find it to be a very nice thing.
  • The overall feel good thing about getting a day off from the grind of work. I wish we get a few days of like a lot of countries do or how the school & college kid get. But yes getting a day off from work is good.

Three things I don’t like about Christmas

  • The terrible religious aspects of it. Christianity stole from European Paganism and in particular converted Yule to make it like it’s the birth of some Jewish carpenter. It is not!
  • The fake “piousness” and the “formal singing” of some of these artists & even regular people when they have to sing a Christmas themed song. He wasn’t the son of god and he wasn’t born on this day either!
  • That we here in India do not get the full effect of snow and gifts.

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 1

Jurgen Klopp ordered Liverpool’s fans to bring the noise and give Arsenal a “proper Anfield experience” at the place where their nerve has so often failed them in past. Arsenal have not won at Anfield since September 2012 and visits into this hothouse atmosphere are always used as a gauge for the Gunners’ title-winning temperament and credentials – or lack of them. It was in April, with Arsenal were cruising at 2-0, that Granit Xhaka unwisely infuriated Liverpool fans in a spat with Trent Alexander-Arnold, firing up Anfield to the extent that Mikel Arteta’s side ended up so ragged that they were fortunate to escape with a draw.

This was the moment the rot set in last season, the start of the late collapse that eventually saw the long-time leaders overhauled by eventual champions Manchester City. The same litmus test was being prepared here, especially after Klopp took it upon himself to criticise the Anfield atmosphere after Liverpool thrashed West Ham United 5-1 in the Carabao Cup quarter-final in midweek. To many observers, including this one, it appeared to be a rather confected ‘criticism’ specifically designed to whip Liverpool’s fans into a frenzy before Anfield’s biggest league game of the season against opponents who have cracked in this environment before. Liverpool manager Klopp’s words worked on one level as Anfield was at full volume, raucous and hostile before kick-off, but if this was also a ploy designed to put Arsenal to the test, they passed in an impressive demonstration of their growing maturity.

Arsenal and Arteta would have loved to get the win that would not only have been three points but arguably the biggest psychological lift they could get. This did not happen and the final scoreline of 1-1 will suit the pursuing new Club World Cup champions Manchester City more than the two teams on show here. City and Pep Guardiola would have been concerned that the victor here could steal a march while they celebrated their triumph in Saudi Arabia – but this was the result they would have wanted. Liverpool, justifiably, will argue they had the better of the chances as substitute Harvey Elliott grazed the outside of a post in the second half and Alexander-Arnold wasted the best chance to win the game when he thrashed a finish against the bar late on. They will also be puzzled how a clear handball by Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard in the first half was missed by the officials and VAR.