Pope’s New Year’s Message:
“We are all children of one heavenly father, we belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny,” Francis said, speaking from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, jammed with tens of thousands of faithful, tourists and Romans.
“This brings a responsibility for each to work so that the world becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other in one’s diversity, and takes care of one another,” the pope said.
New Years Eve, Dubai, record fireworks blitz, CNN.com:
New Years fireworks explode over Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai set a new world record for largest fireworks display, according to Guinness World Records. The show featured 400,000 pyrotechnics and spanned more than 100 kilometres 62 miles.
Auld Lang Syne, Robert Burns, When Harry Met Sally:
“Auld Lang Syne” (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːl(d) lɑŋˈsəin]: note “s” rather than “z”) is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.
But what does it mean?
Harry: “What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means.
“I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?”
Sally: “Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends.”
And from a FB friend:
I did a wee bit o’ research, and it’s a Burns poem that refers to looking at the past with fondness in spite of not being able to remember the details, hence the reference to “acquaintance” rather than “friend”. A rather appropriate sentiment given how many followers of Burns, if not Burns himself, tend to celebrate(!).
Auld Lang Syne Comic. Re/code, LOL, sad but true:
Daily Meditation, Henri Nouwen:
Expecting a SurpriseEach day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.