Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year...yawn

Although I like Christmas...even if it occasionally provokes post-Christmas depression...I have never been a fan of New Years. New Year's Eve has always seemed to me the most pointless of holidays. I guess if you are an extravert and love parties and drinking and dressing up, it's great. But to me, since it was connected neither with an important historical event or a religious celebration, but merely marked the change of a number in the calendar, I have never bonded with it. Why anyone expects life or the world to improve because of that is beyond me. In fact, because of its disconnection with either event or belief, it has always been more than empty for me. Like one long cloudy boring Sunday afternoon. The pallid notion of Festivus really should be attached to January 1st.

When I lived on the East coast and in Canada, where they have real winter, the coming of the cold weather was tolerable...until January 1st. From September through late December there were holidays that gave some shape to the gathering dark: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas. But once the new year set it, if you except the superficiality and ambiguity of Valentine's day, there was no holiday for the worst part of winter. 

The Catholic Church, at least in the United States, made January 1 into a holy day of obligation, when Catholics are expected to attend Mass. Never understood why. In the old calendar, January 1st is the octave of Christmas and Jesus' circumcision was marked. In the new one, the rather generic day is now Mary the Mother of God.

I have a friend who classes these whines of mine as "paper cuts". Guilty as charged. But it's my bloody blog.


Anonymous said...

I was thinking if there really was going to be a "seasonal" holiday, there ought to be something on the usually coldest day of the year. This would be a day for doing warm, cozy things, and setting fire to things. After a little research, this turned out to be Jan. 16th in my area -- my birthday!


Leah said...

Unlike the Jewish New Year that is really about prayer, reflection, atoning for sins and of course eating.
Btw, who is St. Sylvester since in Europe (and Israel by extension) people talk about celebrating Sylvester.

OreamnosAmericanus said...

St Sylvester's feast day is December 31st. Otherwise, he's just a pope.

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