The full moon fell on New Year's Eve. It was the second full moon of the month, which is called a blue moon. It does not mean it was tinged blue, just a coincidence. Sadly, nothing romantic happened. < / 3
Some people celebrated New Year's Eve by going out and partying, some by staying at home and watching the ball drop in New York City, and others went to prayer services.
Dad's tradition is to attend temple services at midnight every year. The only year he skipped it was when we found out my mamaji, my mom's brother, had died. He asks us to be relaxed and contemplative on the first and last day of the year. That's usually a hard task for four children.
We left for the Ceres gurdwara (temple) around 10:30. We arrived to a packed parking lot, people were parked sideways blocking entrances and wandering around outside. I have never seen the gurdwara so packed. This specific temple serves the congregations from Ripon, Modesto, Ceres and the overflow from Turlock, so it was understandably overflowing. I found a place to sit, but the body heat generated by the masses was unbearable.
The bhaijis (brothers) performing kirtan (singing hymns with musical instruments) sounded better than some we've had. They led us in a chant of Waheguru, which means 'God is great,' with a harmonium. Last year the head priest did so without any tune for five minutes, most people were bored. The actual service was short, but when it came time to mention the excruciatingly long list of people who had prayers done on that day during ardaas... well, I was ready to head back to 2009. We were out by 12:30, the sky was a little cloudy, but the moon was out and it was gorgeous.
I wish everyone the best in the coming year! Happy 2010.