The New Year is here > Time for resolutions

Posted On January 1, 2007

Filed under Christmas Spirit Editorial

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What is the motivation to embark on something new on an ordinary day? Why do something today that you can just as easily do tomorrow?

People need special occasions that force them to remember other people, God or even themselves. Birthdays, anniversaries and festivals are opportunities for celebration.

New Year’s Day is just such a day, which stops the clock and makes one take stock of oneself.

This day has gained its cultural and emotional significance over hundreds of years. The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the God of beginnings.

He was always depicted as having two faces, one at the front of his head and one at the back, for he was simultaneously looking forward to the future and backward at the past.

Over the years, cultures have evolved their own customs to mark the beginning of a new calendar year. The Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight as representative of the 12 months to come.

The Chinese use cymbals and fireworks to drive away ghosts of the past. Even the American tradition of kissing at the stroke of midnight is derived from masked balls where a kiss purged the evil spirit of the past year inherent in the mask.

New Year’s Day is an acknowledgment of time passing by. The daily grind leaves little scope for deviation from routine, which is what is required for a new resolution.

You may vow to quit smoking every Monday of the year but regularly push it off to next week until your spouse demands it as a birthday present.

You may mean to call your mother every day to enquire after her health but finally do so only on Mother’s Day. Certain days force you to recognise certain people or relationships.

New Year’s Day is a day kept aside for new beginnings, so a resolution made on that day will always hold special meaning.