Our New Year’s party is one of the biggest parties here in Senegal. Everyone loves it, especially in my neighborhood.
Children start the fireworks on the first day of December until January 10. Often, I find it amusing but sometimes it annoys me because they light the firecrackers in the house during nap time, the little rascals. Otherwise, it's a very big event that everyone participates in. There are posters of dance parties, concerts by Senegal's biggest celebrities, and the release of new music albums. It is the day of many great events.
For my part, it's back and forth between the markets and the shops in search of new clothes for me and for the children. Everything must be new, from head to toe, because it's a new year. So you need new things- you have to decorate the living room, buy new curtains, sheets, tablecloths, etc.
I celebrate with my family, either at home with my husband and the boys, or at my mother-in-law's with all her children and grandchildren who gather around her for all the celebrations. Festive meals are prepared with a lot of meat, chicken, pork, salad, potato fries, vegetables, but also with a good wine and fruit juices of ginger, 'bouye', 'bissap', and bottles of soda, ice cream and fruit for dessert.
After eating very well, we all go up to the top floor to see the fireworks better. It often happens that some are in such a hurry that they light their fires before midnight, but the moment I prefer is when it's finally time and the big show begins: fireworks for free!
It is true that Dakar's Independence Square is often busier, but that does not prevent people from doing the same thing almost everywhere in Senegal; it is truly a magical moment, of joy, happiness and above all of gratitude and thanks to GOD for the chance to see a new year. And then just after, there are the phone calls to wish people a happy new year: our family, the friends, and the neighbors.
On the first day of the year, the party continues with more fervor until the evening and moreover, throughout the month of January, when we speak to a person whom we had not yet seen, we tell them best wishes.
I take this opportunity to wish you the best for a happy new year, health, happiness, prosperity and success.
Thank you for your encouragement and support; Katie always sends them to me.
Kisses, and see you soon,
Anne Marie Gomis
P.S I hope you enjoyed reading.
Translated by Katie from French