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Author Topic: Celebrating NewYears religiously  (Read 674 times)


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Celebrating NewYears religiously
« on: December 17, 2012, 09:58:58 pm »
Up next on my list for integrating my religious life into my secular life, is the Winter Holiday.  I was looking for a headspace from which to approach the traditions of my family and community, which are mostly of the secular-Christmas type.  The solstice has never interested me as a holiday center.  I'm not prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder, so the return of light isn't anything special.  Where I am, winter starts  mid November and goes until April, so it's neither the start or middle of winter.  However, November and December are much like their own season before winter proper, which starts in Jan.  Add to this the fact that my town does First Night festivities, and NewYears becomes relatively big.  So I've chosen that as my holiday center.

New Year's Eve is an odd mix of celebrating the past year, the death of the old year, and the birth of the new year.  It is followed by New Year's Day, which is a day of quiet mourning, ending with an evening of friendship and community.

The Eve can be celebrated either solemnly or boisterously; it's a wake.  The old year is dying, and different people react differently to death.  When the clock strikes 12, the new year is born.  Both solemnity and boisterousness are options here as well.  One can either be quiet so as not to wake the baby, or you can rejoice at the great Birthday Party.  On this occasion, gift-giving is appropriate.  Either as "disbursement of the estate of Old Year" or as blessings for the new born Year.

The Day begins as we mourn the death of the last year (and recover from the previous nights festivities, if applicable).  At some point, we ritually move on from mourning.  After the death and birth and tumult of NewYears, friends and community gather together to reinforce the bonds that hold them together.  Celebrating each other.

I have no real question, just wanted to share.  I mentioned this in the "How do you celebrate Yule" thread and wanted to expand.  Feel free to pick for holes to be filled in, or sewn shut, or made into lace.
There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
Chapter 91 of The Order War by L.E.Modesitt jr.  If I could quote the entire thing I would.


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