The burning of effigy with a message especially on New Year's Eve, calls for celebrations.
For some people, New Year celebrations are not just merry making or a fun time to begin yet another day. They choose to celebrate New Year's eve differently.
It's about “Mr. Old Year”, fondly called the ‘old man' — he is a male doll or an effigy dressed in old cloth and stuffed with materials not required to any longer, including old and broken articles best described as scrap and those which could be reminiscent of evil, sadness, ill-feelings or bad memories. To add to the excitement, it is filled with colourful crackers.
The preparation of this doll in different sizes and shapes, some of which are more than 25 feet tall starts a week before and is erected in a public place. And, at that most awaited festive moment — that is on New Years eve, “Mr. Old Year” is set on fire amid cheers — welcoming the New Year and bidding farewell to the old one.
The message inherent in this event is — With the burning of “Mr. Old Year”, all bad things that have happened in one's life is not worthy of carrying over. This is an important tradition associated with people in Belgaum, where mainly the children and the youth come together to prepare the doll with the co-operation of the local community.
However, this year there is a greater message not just for them but to the entire world. There are many effigies of ‘terrorism' and their burning followed by prayers for a united global fight to root out terrorism.