The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Coming Full Circle

The whole range of celebration of the New Year's Day basically stems from various ways ancient societies greeted new harvest seasons. One season ending, and another begins. The circle is completed and begins again. Here's what I learned about the tradition of celebration, and here's where I learned it.

The Mid-night cacophony:

The idea of making deafening noise is to drive away the evil spirits who flocked to the living at this climactic season with a great wailing of horns and shouts and beating of drums. This is why at the stroke of midnight we hear the deafening cacophony of sirens, car horns, boat whistles, party horns, church bells, drums, pots and pans - anything that serves the purpose of producing a devil chasing din.

The spectacular Parades:

The popular Tournament of Roses Parade held on this day in Pasadena, CA, was started in 1886 by the Valley Hunt Club, whose members decorated their carriages with flowers, creating what was meant to be " an artistic celebration of the ripening of the oranges in California." In the afternoon athletic events were held. The city of Pasadena later relieved the club of sponsorship of the parade, and the city was in turn succeeded by the Tournament of Roses Association, which still directs the activities. Gradually the flower-decked carriages gave way to floats that by parade rules can be covered only with fresh flowers.

The booze bash:

Yet another familiar practice, though not quite encouraging. The unbridled drinking bash on the New Year's Eve, is also a secular leftover of a rite that was once religious in character. The original spirit has been a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the ordered cosmos was created by God.


In order to have a 'clean slate' on which to start the New Year, people in times past have made certain that they had all their borrowings cleared. Those were the days before such complexities as credit buying. The New Year resolutions, which we are so fond of, represent other efforts to make the year brand new.

Luck in the New Year:

It is traditionally thought that the first day of the year is symptomatic of the approaching 364 days. Accordingly, people try to spend the first day of the new year in the best possible way in the company of family and friends. It was once believed to be a good omen if a tall dark-haired man visits your house on New Year's Day. Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring good luck. In many cultures, it is a predominant belief that anything in the shape of a ring brings luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. It is primarily for this reason that the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day brings good fortune. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Consuming cabbage is also considered a potential harbinger of good luck.

So, this year on New Year's Eve, I will be adding to the cacophony with more intention. Devils be gone! I will enjoy the Rose Parage even more knowing that it's roots trace back to a horse and carriage. I won't be drinking, but I will reflect on the chaos that occurred when I did, and appreciate all order in my life. I will plan purposeful steps towards acheiving my very own "clean slate," and I will spend New Year's Day in the best possible way for me, as close to my animals as possible.

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