Allendale Baal (Barrel) fire ready for the off at midnight on New Years Eve.
Allendale Town. New Years Eve. Men with lighted tar barrels on their heads parade through the streets in the Tar Barrel Ceremony. Yes, the barrels are on fire! The the Baal fire in the center of town, where cars usually park, is lit. (Melting the tarmac perhaps?!!) People come from far and wide to watch. Then they go home to bed.
We on the other hand have no bonfire, or tar barrels. Sit and meditate from about 7.30 pm. Before midnight everybody may offer incense and make three bows of gratitude for the past year. Have a sedate ceremony at midnight. Afterwords everybody is given an apple or cake, or similar. Make three more bows asking for help in the coming year. We then strike the big bell a total of 108 times and go to our beds.
New Years Eve can bring on the melancholy (defined as thoughtful sadness) like nobodies business. Years ago that was the case for me. Now? By the time 1.00 am comes I’m just tired.
Where ever you are to welcome in the New Year, take care.