“For many Pagans, the ‘new year’ comes around Samhain. For the rest of the world, the ‘new year’ starts a new calendar, with January 1st.
What is your personal take on the ‘new year’? Do you honor the change in Oct-Nov, or do you wait until January like everyone else?
Or, perhaps you follow a faith that has its own unique calendar – tell us about it.
Are there any specific traditions that go along with the new year?”
Well, it is the WHEEL of the year. Wheels don’t have a beginning. Or an end, for that matter. So, in a nature-spiritual way of thinking, I do not have any end-of-the-year plans or feelings or dates, for that matter.
Of course there are other things to ponder. With Yule and the twelve nights of dreams and stories and divination following, it is a good time to decide what you want to do next. winter time does not exactly encourage wild action, so remembering and planning are more likely activities for me.
Plus there is the worldly ruccus, which I usually like a lot. This year we ditched Richard’s traditional family gathering (with fried breakfast meats) and plan to have our own small party instead. Maybe eight or ten people, some food and booze and tons of fun. In past years, if the opportunity arose, I met my best friend for a midnight walk, divination and singing. We would start in one town, visit some family on the way, spend midnight in the dark woods between our town and visit the other one’s family first thing in the new year (where we would fall into bed exhausted after a five-to-sevel kilometer walk (depending on where we started and whom we visited on the way). Said friend is going to come our way this year, and although I assume that as lady of the house (lady? Uhm….) I cannot sneak away for a midnight walk, maybe we will get a New Year’s walk the next morning.
Other German traditions include fireworks, eating herring at midnight, toasting the new year with sparkly wine, divination with molten lead (or candle wax) and watching “Dinner for one” – a British sketch that, strangely, seems almost unknown outside of Germany. We plan on doing almost all of these things. Even if it is not my “new year”, why should I avoid an occasion to celebrate? ^^