Why today? Why tomorrow? Why is THIS new year for us?
It isn't for the Chinese, the Sinhalese, the Thai (except for business purposes), nor for dozens of other regions, countries, and religions who have their New Year all over the place (in a temporal sense as well as the physical one).
For example, for both the Tamil in India and many of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Jan 14 is considered New Year. But for different reasons. The EOC of "Georgia, Jerusalem, Russia, the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine still use the Julian Calendar", (Wiki, above link). Since 2008, the state of Tamil Nadu has adjusted the New Year to an allegedly more secular date. People don't like governments fiddling with their holidays (unless it is to add more) so, meanwhile, many objecting Tamils continue to celebrate New Year in... mid-April, the time of the advent of Spring!
I grew accustomed to thinking that the West's (the so-called christian world) New Year, Jan 1st, was arbitrary; a relatively random date, stolen from the Romans, close enough to the summer equinox and to the saturnalia festival to be like, hey, why not now? As it doesn't correspond directly to any celestial timing landmark, nothing lunar or solar - no equinox, solstice, full moon, new moon or alignment of the planets exactly on that day - I was a tad confused, but not overly concerned.
But I was brought up Catholic. I went to Church and pretended to listen, giggled uncontrollably when the priest said "virgin", etc... At school we had Religious Education every day at noon, twenty minutes of unanswerable questions fobbed of with answers that amounted to, essentially, "because!" Some of this must have sunk in for, despite evidence to the contrary such as this blog, I am quite moralistic in many ways. Fortunately for my sanity, most of the contradictory details and ridiculous assertions of the Bible and the attendant accumulation of mythology, the suspect explanations and circular arguments in the explications upon it, washed off my back and flew through my ears. But as I once had a terrific memory (when? I've forgotten) certain factoids must have become lodged in an otherwise inconsequential matrix of neural firings. So I knew deep down somewhere in the amygdala (the cerebellum? I've forgotten), that momentous knowledge, the significance of the great and holy feast we get pissed at tonight, but I had forgotten-slash(as it were)-suppressed it.
As Christmas allegedly celebrates the birthday of Jesus, and his being Jewish, he had to be circumcised* on the eight day of His precious and not-inconsequential life. Penis? Chop chop mistah.
Presuming the male infant (miraculously delivered from a virgin who obviously lost her hymen from the inside out) survived to that venerable age of course.
Why wait? Weeeeeeell... You know how it is with closed communities, when cousins marry sort of thing: birth defects like renal agenesis and inborn errors of metabolism like Gaucher's disease, glycogen storage disease, thalassaemia, etc... Many are fatal in about four to five days, some even sooner. Seen it only a few times thankfully, when I was (really) working. Sad.
So they waited, and we wait, eight (8, count 'em) days.
Yes, on that day, on THIS day (i.e. tomorrow), the prepuce** of the penis of Our Lord was stretched out, perhaps over an infibulator***, and snipped off. The bris, tossed to the cats. Foreskin for the pussens, mmrrrgniaow.
The 1st of January way back when. Ow.
Hurt? Hurt so much He couldn't walk on water for nearly a year!
This is why we (you) celebrate New Year today. I know that you too needed to be reminded of this.
It is the Day Of The Newly Exposed Glans Penis!
Jesus was therefore on target for the Covenant of Abraham. Remember how it goes? I'll give you a land of milk and honey, life eternal in heaven, etc... if your males remove some redundant skin from their genitalia. Simple as that. Snip your way to Jewish Nirvana.
Notice how religions have this obsession with all things genitalian and reproductive? (See above re: inbreeding.)
I wonder if, perhaps, the goal of many young men like myself back when, in our post-pubertal teens when the hormones were raging, was to be "in" (as in penis-in-vaginated) on the stroke (as it were) of midnight. I kid you not, it was a big goal in our town. Some instances of this carnal celebration even involved women.
New Year is Jan 1st and Jan 1st is New Year because of a circumcision.
Yes, you may not have realized it, but New Year is a religious holiday. Please tune your mind to that dubious and concerned (and damn ugly) baby Jesus above, about to lose part of its Godly schlong (a micro-penis, plus microcephaly and a touch of the Benjamin Button about the face, according to this pic - see above re: birth defects) so that the world could later be redeemed (redeemed? I'm not seeing that) from its sins by His cruci-fiction and death, as you pop the cork (not a metaphor) tonight.
* For those of you uncertain of the technique of this insane religious torture, there are some nice illustrations here. Yada yada, incidence of AIDS is lower, but Jesus was not a fag, allegedly, so why?
** The Holy Umbilical Cord is a first class Catholic relic (that which is composed of a body part) of Christ. Christian teaching generally states that Christ was assumed into heaven corporeally. Therefore the only parts of his body available for veneration are parts he had lost prior—hair, blood, fingernails, milk teeth, his prepuce and the umbilicus remaining from his birth.Wiki. Not his lymph, shit, piss, vomit, snot, tears, sweat, phlegm or ejaculate however.
*** Infibulation and Infibulators
Infubulation may refer to the tying up of the male foreskin to some device, like a cloth belt, to prevent masturbation. IKYN.
It is also a practice by those fucking butchers who perform radical female circumcision to stitch closed the labia to prevent normal intercourse and the enjoyment of sex by women.
Many African Muslims believe that female circumcision is required by Islam. In fact the practice is mentioned nowhere in the Quran, although the Sunnah contains several references to the custom. In particular, Mohammed instructed one infibulator, "Yes, it is allowed. Come closer so I can teach you: if you cut, do not overdo it, because it brings more radiance to the face and it is more pleasant for the husband."via
An infibulator is person who performs the infibulation.
For the purposes of this blog post however the infibulator is a small metal conic device for protecting the glans penis. The foreskin is draped over it so that religious or medical excision can be performed without danger to the rest of the poor kid's tiny little dicky-bird.
Never heard of it? Me neither until I heard the following story --
It concerns the late Australian billionaire Kerry Packer. He was having one of his monthly heart attacks at a race track (or was it a cricket match? whatever) and someone called urgently for an infibulator! He lifted his head and hoarsely called out with what might have been his last breath (we should have been so lucky) that he was having a fuckin' heart attack, not a fuckin' circumcision! Get me a defibrillator! The emergency helicopter ambulance arrived and did not have either, but Packer survived. He later gave #insert large sum of money# to the ambulance service to place defibrillators in all medical evacuation helicopters. Allegedly true (ish).