Did you know that in the calendar the ancient Celts followed, New Year’s Eve wasn’t December 31? Nope. Their wheel of the year turned to a new one at midnight on a completely different date: October 31. On the night of Samhain, they believed, the veil between this world and the Other Side was the thinnest, and the living and the dead could pass freely through it. (Ditto on the eve of April 30, before May 1, Beltane, but to a lesser degree.) This was the origin of the traditions that we’ve come to cherish as part of our annual Halloween celebrations, although we tend to give it a much more sinister flourish.
But it’s not time to talk about Halloween just yet—hey, I haven’t even picked my pumpkins, and gods only know where my bat garland is. The reason I’m bringing up the turn of the year is because I think New Year’s in autumn works great. Of course, I can only speak from the northern hemisphere’s perspective, but up here, it just makes sense. The entire vibe is different. There’s so much change going on. I mean, look at it—the weather cools off abruptly (your mileage may vary, of course, depending on your latitude). The landscape changes color (ditto). The kids go back to school.
Oh—and another “new” thing begins: the fall TV schedule.
And here is where I start snurfling and feeling sorry for myself. Read the rest of this entry