Over the years I have come across all kinds of fascinating information that I can sometimes recall at will. This has led some of my friends to refer to me as The Encyclopedia or The Library.
One of those bits of arcane trivia lodged in my brain is the significance of January 1st in relation to its close proximity to Christmas Day. According to ancient Hebraic law, a child was not named until eight days after its birth. This allowed for children who might not survive to pass away without being named. There were not neo-natal intensive care units at that time, and many children simply succumbed shortly after birth.
Naming on the eighth day was a cause for celebration, and along with those festivities came the bris for the male children.
So, once again, I wish you a Happy Feast of the Holy Circumcision!
I heard that detail a few years ago on National Public Radio and at the time, I must have slapped my head in not realizing that relationship before. I knew that this religious ceremony took place a week after the birth of a child, but I never made the connection between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ever since that time, I try and extend my hearty wish to people to celebrate the anniversary of Jesus’s bris instead of the generic Happy New Year wish. It livens things up a bit.
Here is a link to the entry on this Catholic holy day of obligation in Wikipedia to verify my claim.
Oh and I also came across an entry about the reputed relic(s) of the Holy Prepuce. I want to warn against reading the entry while drinking, lest your computer monitor be put at risk for being obscured with said beverage.
Enjoy! I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. And may peace start to break out all over.