Humans Are Weird: New Years

Every 365¼ days the Earth completes a rotation around its solar system’s sun. Apparently, this is cause for celebration. The act of starting a new cycle around the sun sets off worldwide celebrations. Though, not all at the same time. Some festivities are separated by hours, some by months.

If you think about it, it makes sense to have a variety of days chosen as New Year’s Day. Humans have no idea when or where Earth started its orbit. It could have been the day you’ve designated June 16th. You weren’t there. Dates didn’t exist on Earth. I don’t know, but I would venture to guess that, in the beginning, the Earth’s orbit and even rotation weren’t the same as they are now.

So, the various cultures of Earth chose days to observe as the commencement of a new year. Many cultures used the cycle of the moon to decide when to start their year. Solstices and equinoxes were significant factors in those decisions. While that seems logical, not all cultures made such informed selections. The Gregorian calendar, which is the most widely used in the world, seems to have picked a day at random.

Tangent: This is how arbitrary humanity is. December is the twelfth month of the Gregorian calendar. Decem is the Latin word for ten. Naming the tenth month of the year December made sense. It wasn’t very creative, but it was logical. Then, January and February were added to create a 12-month year. Humanity, being the reasonable, rational creatures they are tacked them on as the 11th and 12th months, respectively. Wait, no, they didn’t. They put them at the beginning of the year pushing the month literally named the tenth month to 12th. What?

While you were randomly designating days to start your new year, couldn’t you have had it coincide with the beginning of a season? The Winter Solstice would be a logical time to commence a new year since it is a rebirth of sorts. It’s when the days start getting longer. You were so close. You missed by ten days. At least some human cultures have the sense to judge the new year by the moon. Yes, let the solar system tell you how the cycles are progressing. Still, they can’t agree in which cycle of the moon is the first one of the new year.

Humanity was so haphazard about it that their new years usually start in the middle of a week. Yes, I know the solstice can be in the middle of the week, as well. It just bothers me. It’s a new year but not even a new week. By the way, Sunday is the first day of the week, so why is it part of the weekend? Why isn’t it called the week beginning? Because Saturday is the last day of the week. What about the week wrap? The week wraps up. It wraps around from the old week to the new. Week Wrap. From now on it’s the week wrap. Do it. Sure, you can make it a portmanteau. I know how you love those. Weekwrap. You’re welcome.

So, the world is divided on when the world commences its new journey around the sun. Even if you could agree, what’s so exciting about it? What’s the cause for celebration, the countdown, the champagne, the fireworks, the ball dropping, staying up until midnight like it’s an accomplishment, and so on? So, what are you actually celebrating? New calendars? “Look, it has kittens.” Your arbitrary selection of a time to start your year? “We picked a day. Yay for us! Humanity’s gonna be O.K.” I can’t think of any other reason to celebrate a new year.

Are you really that hard up to find a reason to celebrate? It already comes at the end of a long string of holidays. Or is it the beginning? How about eliminating your reliance on fossil fuels? There’s a reason to celebrate. That would be an anniversary worthy of champagne and fireworks. How about world peace? How about some form of global unity? What about universal health care? An end to homelessness and poverty? How about peace on the streets of a single city? What about a celebration of parents who bust their butts to provide for their families? No, I do not mean they’re providing farts. It’s always farts with you. You can do better than burned toast in bed and a macaroni necklace. You could create a celebration for teacher appreciation. How about an end to gun violence? An end to domestic violence? What about ending all violence? “That stuff looks hard.” Yeah, that’s why it’s an accomplishment and a reason to celebrate, not just a randomly selected day.

Could you at least move January 1st to the Winter Solstice? It’s a simple shift. The other days will move. They’ll have to. If they don’t, they’ll get smooshed. Come on. You moved December from the tenth month to the twelfth without even changing its name.

That doesn’t even touch on the grammatical anomaly. I will assume, “Happy New Year’s” is a truncation of “Happy New Year’s Eve,” or “Happy New Year’s Day,” but why not complete the truncation and say, “Happy New Year!” There are plenty of those to whom this doesn’t apply. To those, I say, “Kudos!”

Then, there are those who take it the other way and drop the apostrophe. “Happy New Years!” What is this? It’s one year, right? My understanding of the celebration is that you are welcoming a new year, which only happens one at a time. You don’t binge your years like you do your television. “Happy 2019, 2020, 2021,& 2022.” Given the predicament America has brought on itself, I can see how they would be in a hurry to get to 2020, but it happens every year. Every years? Does it have something to do with the multiple new year celebrations that occur throughout the year?


8 thoughts on “Humans Are Weird: New Years

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    1. That’s because I’m weird. I don’t think like other people and vice versa. In the Norman Christmas special, I have a little tangent about how traditions, once they become traditions, are considered normal no matter how bizarre they are.

      I have another Humans Are Weird “rant” about a pair of pants. It’s one thing. It has two leg holes, but a shirt has two arm holes and is not a pair of shirt.

      Eereeenían’s don’t see time as linear, so the whole thing is strange to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When it comes to traditions, it reminds me of Seinfeld’s Festivus For the Rest of Us, so arbitrary and wonderful at the same time.

        And you’re absolutely right about the pants and shirt… I was curious so I just googled it:

        “Why Do We Say “A Pair of Pants”? |
        According to some, the phrase “pair of pants” harkens back to the days when what constituted pants—or pantaloons, as they were originally known—consisted of two separate items, one for each leg. They were put on one at a time and then secured around the waist.”

        That makes more sense. Language doesn’t keep up to changes in fashion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s interesting. I still can’t picture it. It seems like it would be lacking in coverage. Who can keep up with changes in fashion? Things change so quickly, while sometimes not quickly enough.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I couldn’t quite picture it as well, not that I really tried. I don’t bother keeping up with fashion. I used to care when I was in high school, but now I just consider it a waste of time, energy, and money….mostly money.

        Your last sentence was very profound.


      4. I tried to picture it. All I see are naked butts in the worst possible place. I’ve never been one to pay attention to what’s fashionable. I always find out about music, tv, movies… like two years later. I don’t even bother with clothes. That’s why I’m a nudist.

        I have another weird observation about clocks and time. It’s about how we start time over in the middle of the day. It’s a random tangent in one of my books. I should post that.

        Liked by 1 person

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