I wonder why people go all out on New year's eve. Come to think of it, it is a holiday that we impose on ourselves. Who decided that there was such a thing as a calendar, and dates and years? And who decided that it was a must to celebrate such end of the year. It is not even a religious event come to think of it. Therefore its importance should be way less. But everywhere you turn on this planet, people will celebrate it and the funniest part is that it is not even at the same time. If you are blessed to have family and friends all over the world like I do, just a quick tour on Facebook will let you know the timing of celebrations around the world.
This year I was back home again. And as usual I was celebrating new year's at my parents. It is my mother's birthday therefore I could not escape it even if I wanted to. As usual my parents went overboard when it came to food with grilled chicken, liver, beef, spring rolls, french fries, onion sauce, and endless juices. I was in charge of bringing cakes to blow the candles and I settled for two tarts: one in apple, one in pear. My brother's fiance also came along bringing pastries and a decadent cake. Let us just say there was enough food to feed an army.
This was not even a quarter of the meat we grilled that day.
My mother's birthday cake : a mix of creme brulee and tiramisu
Unlike previous years, we dined late. We usually start eating by 8:30 pm the latest but at that hour we still have not finished grilling the meats. Once we were done at 9, my father's brother ( who lives in England but happened to come for the holidays) and his wife were not there yet. And my brother's fiance was stuck in traffic. I was in a mood because I was hungry and tired and pmsing. I just wanted to eat, sit and enjoy. But funnily enough all my bad mood disappeared once everybody arrived. My aunt was dressed to the nine and looked nothing like her 40 something age. She was glowing. And we understood why it took them all this time. We started to eat, and talk, teasing each other like we always do. Every once in a while we would receive a call from a relative overseas and we would take turn to talk to him. My uncle and aunt left early for another party and we proceeded to cut the cake. My Mother was really happy to get all the attention and the gifts. She really chose the perfect day to be born. We went home way after midnight when my husband came to pick us up. He stayed with his family to celebrate that night.
We are fortunate to be able to afford such a feast. But we are not the only one. Sénégalese people like to celebrate and the best way to do it is to be surrounded by loved ones eating lots of good food. The haves do it lavishly, the have nots still try and do it with what they can afford, or they borrow it to keep up with appearances. It has always been the case at all religious events like Eid and Easter in my country but the end of the year is still very special. And people like to party. When I was younger it was more about going out dancing all night with friends. But now people get together and just sit around and talk, go to fancy restaurants or clubs ( there is still a little dancing involved I heard).
With all this complaining about food binging and all, I am still grateful to be able to spend new year's eve with my family. It may not always turn out like I imagined but I still enjoy it nevertheless. I laughed a lot, I ate a lot, I was happy a lot. And that is a great beginning to any new year in my book!
Happy New Year to you and yours!
PS: this is what I had decided to wear for the new year's eve home party but as usual by the time I was done cooking and all, I was so tired I skipped the dressing up part and stayed in the tunic I wore all day. Every year it is the same shenanigans. I wonder why I even bother. Still it would be a shame not to let you enjoy it:
Scarf - Shivaji market
Blouse - Just Brands
Skirt - I made it
Shoes - Gift
Clutch - Thrifted
Jewelry - Charming Charlie
I can't help but think that these shoes did not look right with the skirt but they were the only heels I brought with me.