With the advent of the Julian calendar in 46BC, the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, honoring the month’s namesake, Janus – Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. With the New Year upon us, it is time to look back and reflect and, after an extraordinary year, most will be looking forward to 2021 – looking forward to resolution with a different slant to the typical new year’s resolution.
“Happy New Year” is commonly expressed throughout the world, literally wishing someone happiness for the year ahead. This is translated to “Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou;” in Hawaiian, “makahiki” means “year.” The Makahiki season (around October through February) was celebrated in Hawaii for centuries as a peaceful time to enjoy harvest, feasts, religious ceremonies, and relaxation. The Mahahiki season also defined the transitional time between harvest and new planting —the new (agricultural) year.
The traditional greeting for Filipinos is “Manigong Bagong Taon,” meaning “Have a prosperous new year.” The Japanese have a different greeting based on the date – until December 31 they will say “Yoi Otoshi o” which conveys “good year end and greet the new year”. From January 1 the common expression is “Akemashite Omedetô (Gozaimasu)” conveying “congratulations for the New Year which is beginning.”
Other ways to greet in the new year around the world include: “Xin nian kuai le” pronounced shin nee-an kwai le (Mandarin, meaning “New Year happiness”); “Bonne Année” (French); Frohes Neues Jahr (German); “Feliz Año Nuevo” (Spanish); and Feliz Ano Novo (Portuguese.)
However you wish to express yourself as you venture into 2021, Maui Economic Development Board Ohana would like to be among the first to wish you “Hau’oli Makahiki Hou” and the very best for 2021 – Happy New Year!
Maui Economic Development Board Ohana would like to be among the first to wish you “Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou.” Happy New Year!