As I wrote last year around this time, it’s a new year again, unless you are Mayan.
All of last year’s resolutions have pretty much gone down the drain by halftime of the first New Year’s bowl game. My resolution last year turned out to be a total flop. Got my new Christmas jogging suit on, laced up my two-hundred dollar Nike running shoes, headed out the front door for a run and by the time I got to the end of the driveway all of the ice flopped out of my scotch & soda jogging cup. I hate when that happens.
So this year I resolve to exercise less, smoke more cigars and get at least fifteen hours of television in a day. I also hope the dog resolves to stop sniffing her poop and then come in the house and lick me on the face.
This whole New Year’s stuff got me thinking. New Year’s Eve is celebrated on December 31 except in the Mayan nation now. The celebration is marked by an evening of social gatherings, the consumption of alcoholic beverages and sometimes naked dancing. Some people attend church services or light off fireworks.
On the International Date Line, the first location in the world to welcome the New Year is Kiritimati, a remote village on the island of Kiribati. You may know this tiny speck of land as Christmas Island, a raised coral atoll just to the left of Australia. Why they didn’t call it New Year’s Island is anybody’s guess.
Kiritimatians celebrate New Year’s with food and dancing, some of it naked. They are a resilient bunch of islanders, because it was strategic spot during World War II and in 1957 the British detonated their first hydrogen bomb. Now that’s a fireworks display!
Despite this the tradition of New Year’s has lived on. Christmas Island celebrates the New Year with the national dance, the Ruoia, a unique and powerful display of young girls decorated with flowers, shells, grass skirts and coconut bras. Much like you see in Times Square every year.
And as the frigate birds glide the currents of South Pacific above, Kiritimatians eat and drink to bring in the New Year. Behold the Christmas Island Feast.
1 Lb. Fresh Tuna Filet, Sliced into ¾ Inch Cubes
½ Cup Fresh Limejuice
¼ Cup Coconut Milk
Pinch of Salt
½ Cup Carrot, Shredded
½ Cup Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
1 Large Tomato, Diced
6-8 Scallions. Sliced
2 Tbs. Lime Zest
Place the tuna in a large wooden bowl and add rest of ingredients. Mix well and serve immediately.
Happy Kiritimatian New Year everybody, or as we say in the islands, “Hauoli Makahiki Hou”.