Holidays New Year's Perspective

Istanbul’s quiet New Year

Istanbul was quieter than usual this New Year's Eve. (Lina Koksal/YJI)

ISTANBUL – As another year passed, Turkey had its New Year celebration, but it was different this time.

Unfortunately, 2021 started with breaking a tradition. Every year, my family would go to watch the fireworks at the seaside and walk around famous streets singing and checking out all the wonderful decorations.

But we were under lockdown from December 31 until January 4. That stopped many people from meeting up for New Year and celebrating together since staying together in an apartment for four days wouldn’t have been an easy thing.

As a nation we are aware that all these rules are for our own good. Many of us were sad but respected the decision.

I celebrated the New Year with a small family celebration filled with many wishes and hope for a new beginning.

As the clock got closer to midnight, our excitement increased. We started to wonder if there would be any noise, fireworks or any surprises. When the clock struck midnight, to our astonishment, the firework began and we could see them in my neighborhood, The sky lit up, filling our hearts with joy.

My sister’s shout of “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” rang through all the houses in the block.

In some neighborhoods the new year made its entrance to the banging of pots and pans and people cheering and whistling, all to show solidarity and hope for a year that will  blur the darkness of 2020.

No, it was not a usual New Year in Turkey, but it was one to remember and cherish. It was our first New Year’s in a lockdown, and I hope it will be the last.

I’m grateful to all the health workers for doing everything in their power to help people tall through 2020. Even during the New Year celebration they were still working and away from their families, trying to help others.

Lina Köksal is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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