GOOD MORNING WORLD
It was red this morning when I got up. ‘Red at dawning – sailors take warning’. I heard that all my life with a Grandfather who was a Lobsterman and a Father who worked in Marine Hardware. I wonder what kind of weather this day will bring? I think I am glad that I have no plans for the evening. I am going to try to talk the residents into going to see an early movie followed by some surf and turf here at home. I am thinking shrimp and steak and it could end up being hamburgers and canned tuna!!!
I absolutely cannot believe that it is the last day of the year. Where did 365 days go? There really were 52 weeks that passed evidently with no dragging. There actually were 12 months that seemed like more if you put the Presidential election in the mix. Additionally four seasons passed as swiftly as a hummingbird flapping his wings zipping about.
I am one of those who like to watch the retrospectives that are on TV this time of year. I usually remember most of what is shown though occasionally I pick up on something I missed. I am also one who cries again at the people who have passed in the 12 months we’ve just lived. This is a day we remember the ‘lasts’. It will be the last time I write 2012. Well unless I forget. It will be the last time I – you? What last will this be for you?
Resolutions come to mind at this point. Many say it will be their last cigarette or last gooey edible treat as they are going to diet. It may be the last time you start your day without exercising as you are starting a new program. Do you make resolutions? What I could find was that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions. It was usually to return tools to neighbors. Early Christians believed that the first day of a new year should be about reflection of the last and thoughts of improving in the coming year. I do NOT make New Year’s resolutions. Failure is not something I like so why would I set myself up for it deliberately?
I will be spending this New Year’s Eve day finishing up putting away the inside Christmas decorations. I am planning on doing a last load of laundry as well as get some desk work done. I understand that these objectives are well within keeping of the superstitions of New Year’s Day. The information addict in me led me to the web to see what happens today in other places.
There are many superstitions surrounding this holiday. In Spain one must eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes. Each grape means a month of good luck. In Finland they cast molten tin into a container of water. The shape is interpreted. I could understand the shape of a heart means a wedding. A ship-shape means travel and a pig shape means food – who interprets the shapes? Even better who has tin to melt?
Others are round shapes in the Philippines. The shape represents coins so they have round fruits around or eat round fruits – grapes like Spain are the easiest. Some wear polka dots for the shape. In Brazil and Central America it is not the shape it is the color. They wear special underwear! Red means love and yellow means money!
It is activities/games elsewhere. In Scotland they celebrate ‘Hogmanay’ which is the practice of ‘first-footing’. The first person crossing a threshold should carry a gift of luck – hmm usually whiskey! Single people are told to leave a gift out side to bring it across the threshold first thing. Since 1951 Japan has celebrated with a song battle with teams participating in sing offs. The Japanese also laugh at the stroke of midnight to bring good luck with laughter.
In Belarus unmarried women are a focus. Piles of corn are put before them as they are gathered in a circle. A rooster is let go and the pile of corn he chooses means this woman will marry first. Another game there is that married women hide things in the house of an unmarried woman and if she finds bread she will marry rich if she finds a ring she will marry a handsome man.
In the Netherlands they make bonfires of Christmas trees to signify the purging of the old and bringing in the new! The Greeks bake a silver or gold coin in a cake and whoever gets it gets good lick for the coming year. (NOTE: if they don’t swallow it!) In Denmark they jump off chairs to signify leaping into the New Year.
At the stroke of 12 tradition says we toast and kiss. The toast goes back to ancient Romans and Greeks. At functions in those days the host would drink the wine first to assure all that it was not poisoned, a common practice to do away with enemies. Also a square piece of bread was added to absorb acidity. This became known as toasting when all would drink together.
In the USA we all are accustomed to watching the ball drop in Times Square. I saw the ball when I was there earlier this month. There are other things that are dropped in this country. I was amazed to discover just how many. From my own experience living in the area I know of the copper acorn that was created in 1992 to honor the bicentennial of Raleigh, NC. Folks there are so many other things that are dropped you must go look. It is hysterical!
A giant Peach is dropped in Atlanta, GA. A Conch Shell is dropped in Key West, FL and an orange in Miami. A Pickle is lowered in Mount Olive, NC at 7PM to acknowledge Greenwich Mean Time. A Sardine drops in Eastport, Maine. Pennsylvania had the most drops. They vary from ping-pong balls, a beaver to a 100# stick of Lebanon Bologna in Lebanon, PA. Check it out it is fun!
There things we are not to do on New Year’s Day so that means we must do them today. Snopes.com has a whole list of these. According to this list I cannot pay bills or do laundry or break things and I must have a full larder as the new year begins. Another fun read at that website. It also gave a list of foods that you must eat on New Year’s Day.
I know in the south they eat black-eyed peas in hoppin’ john. Lentils are a must have. Pork is the meat as chickens scratch backwards and cows stand still only pigs root forward.
And of course there are the noise makers. This is to scare away evil. You are to fling open your doors as well to let the old year out.
As I write this all down I am filled with a sense of urgency that I must get to my day. I have bills to pay, laundry to do, and shopping. I have to go get the black-eyed peas, the lentils, the pork and a few things we really do need.
In case we do not get to the movies we will be able to bring in the new year with gifts of dvds from Christmas. I can be watching ‘Serendipity’ or ‘Jane Eyre’. Or for the more masculine it might be ‘Muskie Techniques’ or ‘Muskie Hat Cam’!
Off I go to get this day and night covered. I bid you a HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE. Tonight know that I will flinging open the doors, making loud noises, jumping off my chairs in my yellow underwear while eating the 12 grapes (I wonder if a handful of raisins would qualify) then rushing to the garage to first- foot a gift I left there into the house! Let the festivities begin!
…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…