Friday, 2 January 2015

The beginning of another set of firsts



A new year  heralds the beginning of many things and the repetition of customs. In Japan it is Hatsumode.


Hatsumode means the first visit of the year to a Shinto temple. In the early hours of New Year's Day sake is served and during the day Japanese singing, dancing and calligraphy is on display.
The photograph above was taken in Kyoto in 2007 along with the one below.


In the UK there have been a number of news items linked with the beginning of 2015.

Health


Johns Hopkins University in the USA have announced the results of a study into causes for cancer. There may seem to be little connection between this and the start of 2015 but in fact the subject of how to stay healthy pervades our being on a daily basis but this announcement will have the health police in a tizzy. Apparently 2/3rds of cancer occur as a result of bad luck and we all know that you can't legislate against that factor.

General Election


This year is a first for legislation that the coalition government brought in regarding the fixing of general elections. As a youngster growing up under the old system it was a bit confusing that elections occurred on the whim of the ruling party and the size of their majority. Well now it has to be every five years in May which seems much simpler.
Of course, because there is an election due this year the electioneering has begun!

First Footing



This is the tradition of having someone enter your house just after midnight on New Year's morning to bring good luck and is practised mainly in the north of England, Isle of Man and Scotland. It involves the bringing of certain 'gifts'.
I remember as a youngster being stuck out on the doorstep, it always seemed to be bitterly cold, with a piece of coal in my hand. There are also gifts of a coin, preferably silver, salt, bread or a drink each with their own meaning. The gender and appearance of the first-foot varies from place to place.

Other cultures have similar traditions but whatever decide to be happy and make your own good luck.

God Bless