Sooooo in the United States, the popular thing to do this time of year is to make “resolutions” right? You know, those promises you make to yourself, or others, to start a new project, break some habit, change your lifestyle, and become a new YOU. But REALLY?!? As lifeforms who spent a millennia living life according to the cycles of the land, why oh why did we suddenly decide that WINTER, the fallowtide for the Northern hemisphere, when all around us is in various states decline and hibernation – even WITH global warming, is a great time to SEED something we want to eventually bud, blossom, and fruit?
Because it’s the first day of the year, you say? Numero Uno? Says who? Historically the Egyptians, Phoenicians and Persians celebrated their “first day” on the Fall Equinox. The Jews mark the “head of the year” at Rosh Hashanah, which falls in late Sept, early October. Old Norse observed Vetrnætr, “Winters Night” in mid-October. And the Celts, following the Gaulish Coligny calendar, celebrate the first day of the lunisolar year as Samhain / Samonios, traditionally from sundown Oct 30th to sundown Nov 1st. I mean, the end of fall, when the years toil is over and the storehouses are full, does seem to lend to a “good start” to the year, I have to admit. That saiiiiiid…..
Many cultures start the new year closer to what we in the Northern Hemisphere call the Spring Equinox. The ancient Babylonians began the tradition, and so it makes sense that modern Iranians, Indians, Pakistani still do. The Balinese, and people of MANY smaller Central Asians countries do as well. From the religious perspective, a Spring new year is also observed by many Hindus, Zoroastrians, and Bahai; and in fact, until the reform of 153 BC, even the Romans (fathers of our Julian and Gregorian calendars) celebrated the new year at the Spring Equinox.
Sooooo, if you’re feeling the pressure to make some kind of “New Year’s” promise to yourself about the changes to come, forget it. Use the winter to introspect, meditate, and contemplate how your 2016 went. Formulate a plan on what you could do differently to achieve REALISTIC goals. Then in the SPRING, plant those seeds, when you might actually have the energy, drive, and WEATHER to help them grow strong and true enough to bear fruit!!! Now pass the Baileys and cheesecake, Ive got some movies to watch!