Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year

Having the New Year begin on January 1 has always seemed artificial to me. There's no real change then. Of course, not everyone celebrates this as the true New Year. Many pagans regard Samhain which comes at the first full moon at the end of October as the end and the beginning. (In the old Celtic tongue it means end of summer and is the Gaelic word for November) The wheel of the year starts another revolution as nature settles down for its winter sleep in preparation for the rebirth that comes in spring. It is a time to commune with one's ancestors and to reflect on one's place in the cycle of life. The night is often devoted to divination. The Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah (the head of the year) was at sunset on September 22. Rosh Hashanah is a time for retrospection and prayer. For the Chinese the new year is yet to come. Like Samhain and Rosh Hashanah it is a lunar new year and will arrive on February 18, 2007. It will be the year of the pig, year 4705 in the Chinese calendar. It is a very important festival and often lasts for 14 days, from the darkest moon to the full moon. It is the time for feasting and spending time with family and friends.

I have never really liked the New Year's holiday. Most of the parties I went to had cheap champagne and seemed to be no more than an excuse to drink excessively and make a lot of noise. (The best parties were always the quiet ones, filled with good conversation and good food.) I have never gone to Times Square to see the ball drop. But I do share a need for optimism about the future. 2006 brought many changes to my life and I have great hopes for the year to come. I think I am most sympathetic with the pagan view. Winter is the time to make plans and to gather strength. The television has been filled with various commercials for weight loss plans, exercise equipment, quit-smoking programs, and organization products. Bring on the resolutions! But these are fleeting. My resolutions are not so specific. And they are resolutions for life, not just for the year. I will think positively about my life. I will appreciate all the wonderful things in my life. I will be kind to others. I will enjoy the abundance in my life and not think of what may be missing. I will not feel envious of others' good fortune but will wish them all the best.

May the future bring you joy and love. Happy New Year.

1 comment:

Kicking N. Screaming said...

I like to celebrate ALL of those new beginnings because I'm always looking for a "do over!"