06 January, 2006

A New New Year Celebration

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had as splendid a time as I did ringing in the new year. I spent the weekend at Camp Moose Lake with a group of friends. Did some tobogganing, some snowmobiling, and a whole lotta lazin' around.

Just before midnight on December 31st, while out for a stroll down the wintry camp road, I pondered the validity of celebrating the new year at the midnight of one's local time. How much sense does it make to wait in anticipation for the beginning of something, that it has in fact begun many hours before? That's essentially what we were doing. When midnight rolled around here in the Central Time Zone, the year 2006 had actually been in existence for eighteen hours already.

Therefore, if someone in the Central Time Zone would want to celebrate the actual beginning of a year, one should do so at 6:00 a.m. on December 31st. Why? Because that's when midnight rolls around at the International Date Line way out in the Pacific Ocean, and when each new day - as well as each new year - begins. Conversely to bid farewell to the previous year, one would celebrate 24 hours later, at 6:00 a.m. on January 1st.

This opens up the possibility of three times to party over a 24 hours period:
  • 6:00 a.m. December 31st to celebrate the start of the new year;
  • 12 midnight December 31st to celebrate as we normally would; and,
  • 6:00 a.m. on January 1st to bid farewell to the end of the previous year.
Okay, so will I be found whooping it up in the early hours of December 31st & January 1st next year? Don't count on it.

All the best to you in 2006!

RICK

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