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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009

Here’s to hoping that 2009 will be as weird and enlightening as 2008!

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My only question is why do we have to celebrate thew new year in the dead of winter?  At least in Australia they celebrate in the middle of the summer (Sydney above).  I know it has to do with the Roman calendar and the later modification with the Adoption of the Gregorian calendar.  Perhaps it also has something to do with the proximity to the former feast of Saturnalia and the new holiday of Christmas?  Of course December 21st represents the darkes and shortest day of the year, so astronomically speaking the sun does begin to return at this time and thus can be considered to bring with it the dawn of a new year.

However, I find the cultures (such as Noruz in Persia) that celebrate the new year in March (around the vernal equinox) to make much more sense.  At that point spring begins and with it the return to warmth and light in the Northern Hemisphere.  Now that sounds like a reason to celebrate.  Until then I think I’ll keep heading south.

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