Grizzly Happy New Year
‘Happy New Year,’ is often heard during the month of January, in the US, though I have no idea what the rest of the world does to celebrate. I would have to do some research on the subject which I look forward to as much as I would having a rash on my naughty parts.
The 1st of January has been celebrated with festivals and rituals dating all the way back to the Babylonians of ancient Mesopotamia over 4,000 years ago. Prior to that the Mesopotamians were just standing around on the 1st trying to figure out what to do for fun. They marked the occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu. Statues of the gods were paraded through the city streets and rituals were enacted to symbolize their victory over the forces of chaos. Through these rituals the Babylonians believed the world was symbolically cleansed and recreated by the gods in preparation for the new year and the return of spring. But after several years with only sparse attendance, a committee was formed to find a way to enhance the holiday. The chairman Dieabetes, put his nephew Hermanski, in charge of the refreshments. After the members had a sufficiency of ‘magic’ mushrooms, and hashish brownies, they got busy - discussing ideas for a new theme for next year’s celebration.
Intestinum of Rectum, while toking on some cannabis, spoke next. “Hey man … wouldn’t it be a trip if in addition to parades, we celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky God Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat, who was like the embodiment of primordial chaos and stuff --”
Asparagus jumped in, “Like she could appear as a sea serpent or dragon, firing laser beams from her eyes.”
“What if,” said Sativa, “Tiamat gives birth to the first generation of deities with her husband, Apsu, but her children aspire to usurp the throne, and have Apsu rubbed out. Tiamat is totally bummed; she brings forth multitudes of monsters as offspring. She is then slain by Enki’s son, the storm-God Marduk --”
Spicoli took over, “But not before she had brought forth the monsters of the Mesopotamian pantheon, including the first dragons, whose bodies she filled with poison instead of blood. Marduk then integrates elements of her body into the heavens and the earth.”
Chairman Dieabetes, staggered to his feet and said, “I can dig it, but we don’t have the time or budget to pull that off. What we need here is a simple, cheap, crowd pleaser.” Intestinum raised his hand.
“What if we ritually humiliate our King.”
“Hmm, I’m listening,” replied Dieabetes.
“In front of everyone, we bring the king before a huge statue of the god, Marduk, strip him naked, and whip his royal highness with some olive branches, then pull him around by his … ah … ears until he cries.”
“Dude! How many brownies did you have?”
“Seriously, we tell the king, if he sheds royal tears, it means Marduk is pleased and will extend the king’s rule.”
“You really think the king will go for this?”
Hermanski offered, “Better give him a few of these brownies first.”
It was the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar in 46 BC, who decided to name the month of January after Janus, the god of things that swing, or his secretary, Janice who really knew how to swing; not sure which. Not long after Julius Caesar was murdered. Apparently, Romans are very touchy about their calendars.
New Year’s Eve in Brazil has a tradition that if you wear brightly colored underwear, you will get lucky. If you wear red this is meant to bring you love, and yellow is to bring you money. Brown probably means you’re way behind in your laundry.
In the good ole United States, it is traditional to spend the evening with loved ones, or ones you plan to love, and ones who are unlovely but tend to get better looking after a night of drinking. There is music and dancing, toasting, with a bunch of hugging and kissing and a whole lot of drinking. That is usually followed by another round of hugging and kissing, and so on until you greet the ‘New Day’ passed out on the bathroom floor, waking with a splitting headache and a wicked hangover. This is not to say that everyone gets wasted on New Year’s Eve, it is just that I don’t hang out with any of those people.
On this New Year’s Eve there will be toasts that drink to one’s health, others will toast to wealth. There will be those who drink to happiness, and others who drink to success. As for me, I’ll be on my houseboat with my dog Ginger, drinking to excess.
Happy New Year, and remember to arrive alive, DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
Signed; Grizzly ‘Sober as a Judge’ Gus