Sunday, January 3, 2010

And we are off...


The celebration of the new year is one of the oldest holidays. Many believe it was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago marking the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox(spring).

The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Good thing we narrowed that down...how many black-eyed peas and pork and sauerkraut can one devour? So, how did New Year's Day move from the summer to the winter? Traditionally, the original Roman calendar consisted of 10 months, totalling 304 days, winter being considered a monthless period. (No argument from some people on that, I am sure!)

Around 713 BC, the semi-mythical successor of Romulus, King Numa Pompilius, is supposed to have added the months of January and February, allowing the calendar to equal a standard lunar year (355 days). Although March was originally the first month in the old Roman Calendar, January became the first month of the calendar year either under Numa or under the Decemvirs about 450 BC (Roman writers differ).

Since January is named for Janus, who is pictured with two heads, one looking forward, the other back, it symbolizes a break between the old and new. The Greeks paraded a baby in a basket to represent the spirit of fertility. Christians adopted this symbol as the birth of the baby Jesus and continued what started as a pagan ritual.

Today our New Year's symbols are a newborn baby starting the next year and an old man winding up the last year. So, here we are in 2010. My shop is waiting for a rebirth...empty spaces in anticipation

of what is in the wings...like an old piece of carved wood that has been given a new life just like the new year...

...a pile of crystal necklaces waiting for a new neck to embrace...

not to mention my paper whites...they seem to be enjoying the vodka way too much...they have buds, but they are still drinking...perhaps I have the Babylonian paper whites...celebrating for 11 days...or more!
Perhaps the antique/vintage dealer should claim Janus as a mascot...after all we are constantly looking at the past and making it work for not only the present but also the future! May it be a good one for all!

4 comments:

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

Your right that is a hoot...my thoughts are on the same page as yours...especially with the empty spaces...ready for refreshment of the new year.
Have a good new year...and you'll probably understand why I need to use old post cards now...instead! I can, I will!
Hey, save some slurpy for the paper white, she's doing good.

gail said...

Hi Susan,,, I hope you had a beautiful and peaceful holiday! I am looking forward to the new year and the new deccade. I had my black eyed peas and can face anything. lol I am expecting all good! I hope for the very best for you in the coming new year!
(()) gail

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you so much for the well wishes. I am very excited and a little nervous to go to market, but am keeping my fingers crossed it all goes well. Wishing you a very happy new year!

Warmest regards,
Carrie

Anonymous said...

"Christians adopted this symbol as the birth of the baby Jesus and continued what started as a pagan ritual." Christians don't parade a baby in a basket..