|Janus -- Looking Both Forward and Backward|
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?
Even though I use the pagan label a lot to refer to myself for the sake of clarity, I really am probably more non-denominational in other people's eyes than anything else. I have no real preference as to what season's greeting people use when wishing me a happy holiday. I mix a lot of different faiths when it comes to what I believe and how I apply my personal spirituality to my own life and my holiday celebrations. I definitely have reached a place where I celebrate both secular holidays and pagan ones. For instance, this year we celebrated both the winter solstice (Yule) and Christmas. I personally think pagan beliefs and secular ones go just fine together, so I see no reason to choose one or the other.
That said, I tend to ride the fence when it comes to New Year's as well. When Halloween/Samhain rolls around, I do tend to treat it as a New Year's of sorts while also still participating in secular traditions. Samhain mentally marks the end of the seasonal year for me, as I do feel that starts with winter, as opposed to ending with it. However, January 1st is still the day I tend to think of as the official beginning of the new year. That's our Western calendar's beginning, after all. I'm a businesswoman. I'm a Westerner living in America. It would be silly not to factor secular New Year's into my personal plans and traditions since it is so important to the world at large and "everyone else" as the prompt put it.
New Year's for me is largely about the same thing it's about for everyone else. I take that time to reflect on what's come to pass over the past year and think in depth about what I'd like to accomplish or change about my life going forward into the year to come. I don't make anything as official as a list of New Year's resolutions to follow going forward, but I do find I like to blog about the thoughts I naturally have this time of year (as my more dedicated readers have no doubt noticed). I also like to celebrate with loved ones -- usually with some sort of delicious meal, some drinks, and some good times.
That's really what New Year's (either one of them) is about for me -- a good time to be had in comfortable settings with people I love. Spirituality factors into that a bit for me, but not too heavily.