It’s nothing but ardent colonial nonsense to be celebrating a seasonally determined cultural event in the wrong season and about six months off the mark. Every culture that marks new year celebrates around the time of, well…new year. And every culture that marks New Year locates it somewhere in the winter; notionally around the time that the days begin to lengthen after the cyclical nadir of the sun.
Christmas is an entirely separate matter. There is nothing incongruous about marking somebody’s supposed birthday in the middle of summer. I don’t care if Christians and consumers want to do a whole pile of shopping and/or praying or whatever in the middle of summer. That’s their affair.
But generating an expectation to celebrate or acknowledge something that is really nothing more than an expression of historical arrogance irks me. Meanwhile, it’s particularly stupid that Matariki, a perfectly sensible cultural marker for New Year celebrations, continues to be marginalised – or at best offered politically correct lip service – thanks to the hangover of that colonial mindset.
If for no other reason than that the middle of winter is a really good time to find an excuse to step away from the ‘day to day’ and ‘let loose’, why not give ourselves proper New Year celebrations and dump this wholly inappropriate non-new year imposition from our summertime?
Anyway, whatever your take, I’ll raise a glass and wish you all the best for the New Year…in about six months from now.