HOW I CELEBRATED
Naturally, the first post, and the first celebration, for any challenge like this is New Year's Day. Not being much of a drinker, or legal to drink anyway, I have no hang-over to nurse, so today I have spent much of the afternoon watching the traditional Twilight Zone marathon on the SciFi channel. I chose not to take a photo of myself in front of the television as you'd be unlikely to make out what is on the screen anyway, but I have taken a list so far as to what episodes have been on in the interest of providing some sort of minor evidence to my viewing of the marathon.
3:00-3:30 - Night of the Meek
3:30-4:00 - A Game of Pool
4:00-4:30 - Nick of Time
4:30-5:00 - Number 12 Looks Just Like You
5:00-5:30 - Stopover in Quiet Town
5:30-6:00 - The Bewitchin' Pool
6:00-6:30 - Probe 7... Over and Out
Last night had a few of my favourites as well, including "In Praise of Pip" "To Serve Man" and "Five Characters in Search of an Exit". In my estimation, Rod Serling was a genius at choosing episodes for his landmark series.
Sure, watching this marathon isn't much of a celebration, I'll admit, but the year is young, and it is a personal tradition.
Also, for anyone who's wondering, this Holiday challenge is my actual New Year's Resolution (ironically, going through with this would be going against the unofficial tradition of breaking one's New Year's Resolutions. I can look past that, though).
HOW OTHERS MIGHT CELEBRATE
Just like many celebrate New Year's Eve with drinking, watching the ball drop in Times Square on television (or in person), a kiss at midnight, and the first few lines of "Auld Lang Syne", many also celebrate today by nursing a big ol' hangover. With this in mind, I thought I might dicuss with whatever readers I may have amassed so early on in my blogging the cause of hangovers and some good cures for them.
Hangovers tend to be caused by one or more of the following problems: hypoglycemia, dehydration, vitamin B12 deficiency, and/or acetaldehyde intoxication. Taking that into account, a good first step in nursing one would be to drink a bunch of water and take a vitamin B12 pill or two. Give that a while to begin working, and if that doesn't help, then you should definitely have something to eat, and probably some juice as well, to help bring up your blood sugar levels. Fresh air and exercise are also known to help.
As for non-hangover related celebrations, the Catholic Church traditionally has a feast to celebrate Christ's circumcision, it is also the Holy Day of Obligation in Catholicism, the Rose Bowl is usually played on this day in California, the Polar Bear Club in New York has its first dip of the year, the New Year's Concert in Vienna, a New Year's parade is traditionally held in London (England, not Ontario), and I'm sure there are many other traditional celebrations held worldwide as well.
HISTORICAL AND/OR CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
The most basic bit of cultural significance is obvious for this day as it is the first day of the new year in the Gregorian calendar. Please note, however, that this is not true for all cultures. The Chinese calendar, for example changes to a new year at a different point in the year's cycle than for those of us who are celebrating it today (and yes, the Chinese New Year is on the schedule of holidays for me to celebrate, though I don't plan to celebrate for the whole week, but I digress). Winter Solstice celebrations are another example of the year changing at a different Gregorian date.
The current calendar system wasn't always in place, either. Though the Gregorian calendar was only canonized in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII (whom it is named after), it is simply a reform of the earlier Julian calendar (introduced by Roman emperor Julius Caesar, and in itself a reform of the earlier Roman calendar). It was Aloysius Lilius that proposed the Gregorian reform to the calendar system and introduced the concept of a leap year to even out the length of the years and prevent the time of year at which the year would end from varying too much over the course of a decade or so.
Gregory XIII also set January 1 as the date of the year's change from the traditional Roman (and likely other agrarian cultures') celebration of it near Spring at the beginning of March. While I have not personally researched enough to be certain, I would assume that he changed it as such to coincide better with the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the various forms of the Christian religion.
UNOFFICIAL THEME SONG
The obvious choice for most people who listen to popular music would be "New Year's Day" by U2, but my personal choice would be "Happy New Year" (and the subsequent voice mail and reprise) from the musical RENT.
Other occurrances on this date include:
-U.S. Copyright Expiration Day
-The Last Day of Kwanzaa
-Liberation Day in Cuba
EDIT: 50th Anniversary of Cuba's Liberation
-Independance Day in Sudan
-Independance Day in Haiti
-Catholic feast observances for St. Basil, Fulgentius of Ruspe, and Telemachus
-Z Day which is apparently a holiday on which to celebrate the letter 'Z'
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