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Seasonal Reflections:  January (2)

In January, in the middle of the Winter season, we tend to focus on the new year and maybe the things that happened last year. Maybe we do this because the weather tends to be so miserable we don’t want to talk about outside happenings. Perhaps it is the human equivalent of hibernating.


Of course ‘New Year’ is simply a mechanism, if you like, of handling the calendar and it varies according to countries. We, of course, tend to work off the Gregorian Calendar so New Year was what we called January 1st.

(Introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 and now accepted as the international civil calendar)


The orthodox churches of Georgia, Jerusalem, Russia and Serbia still use the Julian Calendar which starts the New Year on our 2nd January.

(The Julian calendar began in 45BC by Julius Caesar, continued to be used up to beginning of 20th century)


The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, occurs every year on the new moon of the first lunar month, about four to eight weeks before spring. The exact date can fall anytime between 21 January and 21 February.


Travelling around the world, you will also find the Iranian New Year, in India, the Telugu new year,  the Kannada new year, and the Punjabi new year, and there is also the Nepali new year, the Thai new year, the Cambodian new year and Lao new year, the Bengali new year, the Sinhalese new year etc. etc. all on different days!


OK, enough of New Year stuff. We won’t mention it again until 2012!











Answer Page

Flipping = practice of MP’s switching the homes they nominate as second homes for the purpose of claiming expenses
Suffra-Jets = activists protesting against the expansion of Heathrow Airport
Twitterdead = celebrities whose deaths have been erroneously reported online
Silver crime = crime committed by senior citizens
Forever Generation = a cohort of British youth who because of dearth of savings, face working ‘forever’.
Kettling = a police strategy of crowd control through containment
Glam-Mas = hands-off grannies reluctant to care for their grandchildren
Skips = expats who flee Dubai because of unemployment or debt
Fit note = sick notes that detail the tasks an unwell worker is capable of
Simples!  = catchphrase from
Trying to tie down what the climate is like in the British Isles in January is like trying describe what is a typical English person.  The Americans would claim that the USA is such a vast area, as the southern part of the North American continent that there is no such thing as a typical climate. The further you get towards the centre of the country, in the north at least, the deeper the snow. When it comes to the UK it is actually more uncertain, I would suggest.  The best we might say for this month is “Probably cold”. Yes, there might be snow or there might be rain or there might be a drought, and what we have here in the South-East is almost certainly going to be different from Cornwall, the Welsh Borders or Glasgow!

So, looking into the coming month, here is the weather forecast for our region:  Some days with bright sunshine, but cold; some days with grey skies, but cold; some days with heavy rain, but cold - and maybe some snow, but maybe not! Variety, they say, is the spice of life!  Learn to enjoy it. Happy January!

For the rare inquisitive web-searcher from abroad, especially those from the equatorial zones where you hardly experience seasons, we enclose the photo below that perhaps encapsulates Winter. Go back and compare it to the same tree on the second November page and see the change from Autumn to Winter, and then rejoice in your sunshine!  This is why we fixate on the weather and these seasonal pages!

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THE SEASONS: January Reflections (Cont.) originally written in 2011