I treasure the thirty-first of December. It makes the city jam-packed with holidaymakers, and now in the chilly gusts of rain and wind, taking strolls on the imperfectly fractured pavement is what anyone wants. The frosty grass peeks from the cracks ready to be flattened and compressed upon impact with winter boots. The air shimmers with snow-flakes as white as the pale ashes of wasted coal, and even the surface of puddles from yesterday’s storm are icy and frozen, with water swirling with rainbow streaks underneath. The market deflates, with everyone lighting up their Christmas decorations from the previous week. Almost everyone looks forward to this day, when work and schools are closed and they get to celebrate with their cherished ones.
The streets fill up with the sweet fragrance of roasted nuts, hot coffees and freshly baked pies. The talented musicians merrily play their ancient instruments not for the sake of earning some silver but only to satisfy and entertain themselves. The pedestrians sway and twirl to the joyful tunes without a care in the world. This is the only day when one walks great distances without a destination. The day when no one gets tired of walking.
The people are unworried,blithe and heedless. It is not surprising that everyone has one thing common on this very day. A silly grin from ear to ear, vast as the universe, revealing shiny pearls,some crooked and some made to scale. Everyone is in a cheery mood. Salutations and enthusiastic cheers echo amidst the crowd. Shops are covered in a spectrum of fairy lights and ornaments swinging from their chimneys down to their wooden and rustic thresholds. Some people stoop and curve on the pavement trying their best to capture the tremendous joys of this day ,with their squinting eyes stuck to big black cameras while some volunteer at different stalls of food, decorations,games, handicrafts and most importantly fireworks. The children turn red because of excitement. They run around with devilish smiles on their faces ready to prank their parents and strangers.All of the people are covered in thick, colorfully knitted scarves and beanies as they intend to stay out and await the very precious moment when the clock strikes twelve.
It’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun! It’s almost nine at night. The people are starting to gather at the square, holding picnic baskets while some hold silvery,gleaming thermoses filled with blazing hot beverages whose smoke merges with the ultramarine sky. The weather turns extremely cold, biting and piercing into the skin. Everyone has settled down on the floor with their cozy yarn blankets and soft pillows to support their backs. Families fill the space with lively chatter, laughter and happiness. Their lively chatter is enough to make strangers smile and awaken their interest in their conversations. They don’t care about what others might think of them and simply enjoy the night because they know everyone intends to celebrate the night.
I lean back against my pillow, covering myself with a snug bright yellow quilt which my grandmother had made for me when I was five. The blanket still smelled of cinnamon and nutmeg and felt quite homely. It made me feel closer to my family. I gaze at the sky peeking through vibrant,triangle shaped banners tied across the poles. The sky is blackish blue, textured like velvet, making the twinkling stars appear brighter and magnificent. Tiny vibrations can be felt as the subway trains dash through their tracks underground. I close my eyes for a minute taking in the fresh winter breeze,piercing through my cheeks and into my nose. I feel at peace. What was supposed to last for a slight moment had turned into a power-nap.
It’s almost time. The arms of the clock struggle to reach twelve. The people are up on their feet, packing up their heavy blankets and getting ready to light up the fireworks.
Some people have an expression of fear on their faces while some are exhilarated.
The aura floods with different feelings and emotions. The people pray to god for a year filled with ease, successful businesses and hope. Everyone has a goal in their minds. A goal to achieve certain achievements, overcome obstacles,better their relationships. Some look to the sky and wish for a nice job,good grades,a new dress and even a golden-retriever .
It’s eleven fifty-eight. The band starts strumming their instruments, the children help in torching the fireworks placed linearly in the middle of the square and heads start to turn to the sky. Within a split second a magnificent display of vivid, flaming, flower patterns glide into the sky and uninterrupted,overlapping cheers and cries of ‘Happy New Year’ echo throughout the city.