NEW YORK - Saying farewell to yesterday might be a challenge for some, but not for the numerous New Yorkers who bid a traditional farewell to 2023 in Times Square ahead of the big New Year's Eve celebration.
At the 17th annual Good Riddance Day Thursday, bad memories were burned – literally.
A magician burns a sign reading 2023 as people gather to rip up bad memories during the annual Times Square Good Riddance Day in New York on December 28, 2023. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP)
Good Riddance Day is inspired by a Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revelers stuffed dolls with objects representing bad memories before setting them on fire.
In Times Square, attendees wrote down their bad memories on pieces of paper. "COVID," "cancer" and "sister-in-law" were some of the entries.
A woman writes a note as people gather to rip up bad memories during the annual Times Square Good Riddance Day in New York on December 28, 2023. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP)
Every Dec. 28, this event gives people the opportunity to write down everything they want to leave in the past and destroy any unpleasant, unhappy and unwanted memories – so that they can toss them into an incinerator and watch them vanish.
To add a touch of magic, a magician helped make those bad memories disappear in an interactive, fun and fiery trick.
All of this is happening as New York City gears up for the grand New Year's celebration.