Here we are now – in a new year which is before us like a piece of unwritten paper that is waiting to be filled with content. We have our good resolutions for the new year, maybe or not. And now, after the parties it mixes: The expectations of the new year and the hang-over.
If you live in a country where christmas is celebrated and where the differences of the light of the day are several hours between December and June, and where you have got both cold winters and warm summers, the following might be familiar to you.
Well, the lights in the streets become less. No more christmas and after New Year the decorative lights that shine out through the windows of homes decrease in numbers significantly. Like on many first days of the year, there is no sun to be seen. Outside it is grey and cold and the air is moist. Now this is less of a problem, however, as it is past 5.30 p.m and it is dark outside anyway. God bless those of you who live in a warmer climate!
And January is the month that feels the longest of the year. The darkness recedes slowly and on grey sundays you feel particularly down somehow. Initially, you may have liked it. After the summer you feel snug and cosy at home, doing and enjoying your indoor activities that range from playing games with your family, fixing things in your home, doing things on the computer or in the Internet or watching TV.
Now in January, a new year has come which lies ahead of us like the quoted empty sheet of paper. I start feeling grumpy about this, it really feels grey and dark. I sense the darkness around me stronger, and even the light does not help too much. It is a silent period of the year, and indeed the Bavarians refer to it as the „stade Zeit“ („silent time“ in their dialect.) Especially sunday afternoon is not a part of a day which you use for activities of your liking, but rather the (half)day before monday.
What great time was it when I have spent these times in Indonesia and Malaysia. No trace of this kind of New Year or January blues. The sun was shining like usual and 1st of January seems to be a normal working day. (Oh, I do not mind to have a day off, on the other hand…)
Next step in the run-up for the brighter days will be carnival which is held in February or early March. Then, at least here in Central Europe, March is the month of transition. It may be very winterly at the beginning and be in full springtime at the end. (In Northern Europe, even April resembles more a winter than a springtime month). Then the street cafés are open and it is in March that I take my bicycle and start my long rides which I love so much.
How do you perceive the changing of the year and the first months of it in your countries, climates and cultures?
Greetings from Frankfurt upon Main.