Tag Archives | new year’s

New Year’s Revolution

Natalie W writes at Diatribe Media:

We’re breathing the very last gasp of the holiday cycle. First it was the overeating celebration, where we shoved every last delicious morsel of multiple dinners in to our mouths and tried not to nap in front of the football game. Then, it was the winter holiday, where we all spent too much money or were upset that we couldn’t spend more money to demonstrate affection on our beloveds. Then, it was the year-end party where we bid adieu to last year with booze, food, and dancings.

In the cold light of 2012, we took stock of the confetti-strewn, champagne soaked, glitterbomb of our lives and resolved to do better this year. On the heels of the self-focused 6-ish weeks, 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. The top New Year’s resolutions are about weight loss, exercise, consuming less alcohol, quitting smoking cigarettes, finding the love of the your life, better money management and debt reduction.… Read the rest

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Thousands Of Birds Fall Dead From Sky In Arkansas

birdIn recent times, New Year’s seems to always bring with it mystifying mass animal deaths. What an appropriate way to ring in 2012! The New York Daily News writes:

Thousands of blackbirds dropped dead on New Year’s Eve in Arkansas in an incident eerily similar to one that occurred at the same time a year ago.

The disturbing deaths in Beebe, a city northwest of Little Rock, were sparked after loud fireworks sent flocks of the small birds into a panic, scientists said. This caused them to collide with each other, as well as power lines, houses and cars.

On New Year’s Eve 2010, an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 birds died from “blunt trauma” after they were similarly spooked by fireworks.

Eyewitnesses told authorities “the birds were hitting mailboxes, cars, basketball goals, houses, trees,” Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told the Daily News last January. “The trauma shows that they were in flight when they collided with something that killed them.”

The bird deaths, which were followed only days later by hundreds of more bird deaths in Louisiana, sparked conspiracy theories ranging from the Biblical end of the world to government coverups.

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New Year’s: Enter The Namahage

We discussed Krampus two weeks ago. The New Year's equivalent is Japan's Namahage, another colorful folk tradition that's all about scarring kids for life. From Wikipedia:
Namahage is a Japanese ritual which is observed...in northern Honshū, Japan. On New Year's Eve, a group of young men dressed up as fierce bogeymen, Namahage, visit each house in the village, shouting: "any misbehaving kids live here?" They then scare children, telling them not to be lazy or cry, though little children often do burst into tears.Then the parents will assure the Namahage that there is no bad child in their house, and give food or traditional alcoholic beverages to the demons.
Below, some kids get a visit from the Namahage:
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