The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Ushering New Year in Style

The countdown to 2013 has begun with only three days left before we celebrate New Year amid a flurry of fireworks display that lit up the skies. The New Year if often celebrated throughout the worldand in some cultures the fireworks and the street marches are some of te the oldest ways to mark a brand new year.

Ringing church bells, tooting horns and fireworks throughout the cities on the eve will usher many in style.

In a snap survey by The Saturday Lifestyle, it appears most people are geared up for the New Year.

Some people have already made their resolutions while others are still pondering about the future but oddly enough ready or not the new year is coming.

Mai Tawona, a hairdresser in Highfield, said: "I failed to go to my rural areas because I was at work. The festive season is the busiest season for us.

"So we are closing tomorrow (Sunday) for New Year and we have prepared some thrilling activities. I bought groceries and we are going to have a party in Hwedza."

She said gone are the days when people shun their rural homes.

Terrence Garikai said: "Though it's just three days left, with the bonuses and salaries it is never too late plan New Year celebrations in style. Try to choose the perfect venue by asking yourself the following questions:

Do you want a quiet and intimate gathering or a rocking, rowdy romp?

Do you want to serve dinner, or a buffet or appetisers and tasty sweets?

Knowing the feel you'd like your party to have will allow you to select just the right restaurant to meet your needs.

"Again one of the most important parts of any gathering, party, meeting or evening out is what sort of food is being served," emphasised the UK-based stockbroker.

For some who have the money throwing a big party isn't a big deal.

"I want to celebrate New Year in style. I have hired chefs from a local hotel since they are on holiday.

"We are going to feast while waiting for the countdown. I can say I have spent US$1 500 total cost for 70 people," said Patrick Mare from Borrowdale Brooke, a stockbroker in the United Kingdom.

Mare, who is in the country for the holidays, said instead of serving a seven-course meal to each guest there was going to be a pre-party dinner.

"New Year parties are the least expensive as people can contribute the eats. Most guests are eager to know if they can help in some way. Asking them to bring a treat to share is not a burden.

"Often if you ask your guests to bring food and share makes them feel more comfortable; they have a part in the party and know that there will be something that hits the spot for them to eat," said Mare.

For some local celebrities it is about partying.

Adiona Maboreka, wife to former Big Brother housemate Munyaradzi Chidzonga, said she was attending a party on New Year's Eve.

"My sister in Strathaven is throwing a party and the whole family will get into 2013 together," she said.

United States-based Jackie Mgido, owner of Vault Cosmetics, said she was going to hold a New Year party at her Avondale studio.

"For us it's strictly business, we are going to be putting make-up to some people from nonentities to celebrities and I can say we are fully booked. After business it's party time and a lot of fireworks is expected. Actually I have been invited to many parties and I am going to attend all of them looking glamourous," she said.

Mgido, who has worked with celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Kimora Lee, Neyo and LL Cool J among others said Vault 2013 was spreading.

"Our make-up range is growing. We have some activities and workshops lined for 2013," she said.

Local designer Joyce Chimanye said she will be at home with family before attending a prayer meeting at Celebration Centre on New Year's Eve.

While many local people observe New Year's Day on January 1 by throwing parties late into the night on December 31, people in countries as China celebrate this holiday for several days between January 17 and February 19, at the time of the new moon.

The Chinese call this time of feasting and celebrations Yuan Tan. Lanterns illuminate the streets as the Chinese use thousands of lanterns "to light the way" for the New Year.

In European countries such as Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands, families start the New Year by first attending church services. Afterwards, they visit friends and relatives.

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