Ringing in a Not-So-New Year

Is January 1 the beginning of the year for non-Christians?


01/02/2001 02:07:24 PM

A slight correction to Mr. Magida's article on the New Year. All Hindus celebrate the joyous social/cultural Festival of Light, Deepavali. But, not everyone recognizes this celebrative holiday as the start of the New Year. This is particularly so in South India, where the start of spring and warmer weather seems to be the more appropriate time for new beginnings for the prevailing agrarian societies. The states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh follow a lunar calendar, which causes their New Year, Ugadi, to vary sometime between late March and early April. The Tamils of Tamil Nadu follow a solar calendar, so their New Year - like the West - falls on the same date, April 14.


01/01/2001 06:35:40 PM

As far as a new year goes, in the Pagan faith, time is seen as cyclical, not linear. We center our holidays around the Wheel of the Year, the soltices and equinoxes and four cross quarter days. Different traditions may mark different points as the start. Samhain (Oct31-Nov 2, or when the sun hits 15degrees Scorpio) marks the New Year for Celtic traditions. Others count the Solstice, and a few the Spring Equinox. For myself, I mark time from the Solstice, the turning point. "Resolutions" which are negative (*quitting* smoking, *giving up* sugar, breaking habits) are best vowed at Samhain. Positive resolutions (I *will* organize my house, learn to speak Spanish, etc.) usually fare better an Candlemas/Imbolc (Feb 1-2, or when the sun hits 15degrees Aquarius)


01/01/2001 06:25:26 PM

I agree with amatullah; let them know what to expect, don't ambush them! I would imagine that if there's no alcohol, that would be one major barrier out of the way. If New Years Eve is to rowdy, maybe the tradition of football and parades on New Years Day. If they're new to America, the cookout and fireworks on fourth of July might be a fun tradition to introduce them to this summer.


01/01/2001 10:36:12 AM

I think that if you do decide to invite your neighbors--to this or any other event, you should let them know in advance what type of atmosphere it will be, so that they can make an informed choice about whether or not they would want to put themselves in those surroundings. As a Muslim, I would appreciate the sentiment that would compel a neighbor to invite me somewhere, but I would feel VERY uncomfortable at a typical New Year's Eve gathering. I am an American, so I know what goes on at these events, and they are really no place for a practicing Muslim. A Muslim fresh in from another country might not know that going in.