New Years Eve is the most quirky of holidays. People feel compelled to ask me what I did that night, and I feel guilty if I didn’t go crazy, live it up, and ring in the New Year with a crowd of strangers all drinking champagne.
I was happy to learn that the timing of New Years is relatively recent, that ancient peoples smartly celebrated the New Year in the spring after the new moon, when the first sign of a crescent moon appeared. Then the celebration lasted for a couple of weeks. Now that makes sense to me. Something to celebrate; we survived winter, lets party!
The whole resolution thing usually gets me down; everyone swearing off food and drink after a month of over-indulgence. Why worry? The Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring good luck. Instead of promising to diet and exercise, let’s follow the ancient’s lead, and get rid of stuff from our houses. The early Babylonian’s most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. While you’re doing that, drop off any unwanted stuff that has collected around the home.
I think the Chinese have figured it out. One of their many traditions at the New Year is the custom that every family member completely cleans the house to sweep away any bad luck, making way for arriving good fortune. Key phrase, every member of the family, or you’ll all have bad luck. This is great news. I am converting.
While I am at it, I think I will sweep away unwanted writing projects that have built up, keeping me prisoner to lousy leads, miserable metaphors, and less-than illustrious alliterations.
In honor of my good friend Jenny moving to China, happy year of the Rabbit to you all.