Happy 2016, everyone!
It’s amazing how last New Year, I was celebrating in Qatar with friends. This year, I am again in a new country, welcoming the New Year alone. But… This is not a sad story. After all, this is my New Year’s Eve story 🙂
It was snowing the past 2 days here in Yerevan. Somewhat inappropriately dressed for the season, and due to the lazy daisy effect of the cold, I was deeply debating with myself whether to get up and join the New Year celebration in Republic Square. I was getting cozy and warm in bed and I am unsure whether it was safe for me to be walking alone in the middle of the heavily snowing night. I said I’ll see how I feel at 23:20pm, which will give me enough time to dress up and reach the square just in time for the countdown and the fireworks display.
It was an article in the internet of the Yerevan mayor inviting Armenians and visitors to the event that made me get up. Maybe deep within me, I really wanted to go, as this would be my first time to experience a New Year Countdown.
The Republic Square was magical and seems fairy-tale like with the buildings surrounding the square bathed in yellow lights. There were horse carriages and ponies that will take you around the square. There was a stage assembled by the giant Christmas Tree in the middle of the roundabout. When I arrived, a concert was going on. The mood was festive, yet peaceful, even when the crowd was not as huge as I expected. There was dancing all around the square, friends and families enjoying the night and the snow, picture-taking here and there. Some guys had (alcoholic?) drinks but they didn’t go rowdy and wild. I must say, despite being alone, I didn’t feel unsafe or that I didn’t fit it. Everybody was doing their merry-making thing, I was doing mine.
New Year’s Eve countdown in Yerevan is not comparable to New York’s, or even Makati City’s. What I experienced was like a small town’s gathering, intimate yet festive, jolly yet peaceful, simple yet meaningful. I liked it this way.
Here’s a glimpse of Yerevan welcoming 2016 and my 1st ever experience to welcoming the new year in a crowd.