So at midnight last night, several people in my apartment complex lit fireworks, banged pots and pans, screamed, laughed, had sex (yup, heard that, too), or smoked one last cigarette (apartment below mine, and boy did it smell bad!)... It was the end of 2007 and the start of 2008.
But that's not really the schedule I follow. New Years, roman-christian style has just never been an amazing moment of connection with the world for me. It's actually a pretty young holiday, as human history goes. I celebrate Candlemas, usually February 2nd, as the first day of my New Year. It is the coming of the light, the dawning of a new cycle, the precursor to Spring. And I always feel infused with new life energy at that time of year. So that is what I celebrate.
Oddly enough, I do also agree with Wiccan teachings that All Hallows Eve is the LAST day of the old year. That is the time when we begin a deeper connection with the dead, the decomposing, with rest, sleep, decay, and remember-when's. We spend the time between November and February in a half-sleep, hibernating, sluggish, grateful, thinking about what was, and what might be next, spending time with family, talking about family (present and past), and trying to keep warm until the sunlight returns to the earth. It is the between time for me.
So I honored the Day of the dead (early November). I celebrated Winter Solstice, and had a moment of silence on December 24, looking up at the crisp dark sky, for Astarte, whose time it was, she of the holy mothers and the stars. I responded jubilantly to my friends' phone calls as midnight happened in their time zones across the world, and I stayed up to comfort my cat when all the noise started around midnight here. But for my conscious and subconscious awareness of history, time, tradition and Earth's Cycles... I will celebrate the new year on Candlemas. The year 9008, in honor of our recorded history as wise women. With wishes and goals scratched onto bay leaves, with a lighting of candles and a blessing of my home for the coming year. I will celebrate the turning of the wheel, and I will dance along the spiral that is my life path, ever deeper into the mystery.