New year is when people celebrate for no reason, a friend told me. Sometimes I also think that new year is just another day. But that doesn’t prevent me from joining people who celebrate—either to photograph or just to be lazy with friends. No reason required, it’s new year.
In the previous years, I have joined new year celebrations in different ways. Once I spent the night with a group of friends, barbecue and alcohol, movies all night long, then waking up late the next day. Some other times I went to where people were celebrating, to see the celebration for myself and to experience their joy. Some other times I chose to just stay at home, watching television or even sleeping as if nothing happened. In those cases, I stayed at one place as I knew new year’s traffic would be crazy.
A few years ago I wanted to see how people would celebrate new year on the streets. So I rode my bicycle around Yogyakarta for new year—and later regretted it. I knew the traffic would be crazy, but I wanted to know how crazy. And I ended up stuck in traffic jam for hours that night. When finally I could move, I rode to a friend’s place nearby and stayed there until I could ride back home. However, I learned one thing: I could’ve moved if I had walked.
So this time, I walked. I did have some plans, as for route, where to start walking, where to spend the night, etc. But eventually I abandoned all plans and just walked freely—and took photographs along the way. I started to walk from my home slightly before 15.00 heading downtown. And I started to see how people prepare to celebrate: people selling and buying horns, firecrackers, even corns on sidewalks, stalls preparing to serve food, cars and motorbikes coming downtown and causing traffic jams, etc.
After walking for two and a half hours, rain started pouring down. I kept walking to a friend’s place where I was told that a group of friends would gather to celebrate. We stayed indoors as it rained outside. Slightly before midnight, the rain eased and we decided to go out and see the fireworks—and went on to a party at a bar in Malioboro area. We stayed until about 2.30 and walked back. The rain had stopped.
So, let me say happy new year 2013 to all people in the world!
Thanks for wonderful 2012 and have a blast for 2013! ∎