Spring is the Best New Year
I think spring should be when we celebrate New Year. The middle of winter is so cold, so closed in. We’re still buried under snow and ice, still hibernating. Life hasn’t started back up yet, regardless of the slowly lengthening days.
But spring — everything’s opening up. Days are warmer, finally; there’s enough residual heat in the evenings to make going out not a finger-chilling experience. Spring is time for plants to reach from the soil and for early blooming flowers to explode open, like tiny, organic fireworks. Spring is when food goes back to being fresh, when dinner doesn’t have to be heavy to be satisfying, and when iced tea comes back on the menu.
It’s when things start being New again. Hence, it’s the beginning of the New Year.
I know this is complicated, and since spring in the Northern hemisphere isn’t at the same time as it is in the Southern, that makes things even more complex, but businesses use a Fiscal Year that’s different from the Calendar Year, so I don’t see why we can’t have the same thing. Just, reset the whole New Year celebrations until, say, late March (in the North) and late September (in the South).
Wouldn’t that be nice? The New Year could include events like Finally Not Having To Shovel The Driveway, or Not Needing To Run The Heater All Day. If you’re really lucky, you could even have events like Going To The Park And Not Freezing To Death. (I’m a fan.)
We could spend the months between Dead Of Winter (January) and New Year (Springtime) doing the things we try to shove into spring now. I know that it’s easier for me to clean up my home when I can’t really go anywhere else, so ‘spring cleaning’ is a shoe-in for late February afternoons when it’s dark by 5pm. I mean, why not spend those days sorting through the things you got during the previous year and getting rid of the ones you don’t want or need any more.
It makes sense to do this after the big holiday seasons of Gifting Excess, as well. You don’t really need the combined toaster/gummy bear maker/hot sauce brewing kit that you got from your work Holiday Exchange, and shifting the New Year means you’ve got time to donate that sucker before it starts to gather dust.
Also, moving the date of the New Year means that you can choose your New Years Resolutions (if you do them) more easily. There’s less pressure to try to fix everything all at once when you’re not trapped in existential despair because you only see the sun for a couple of hours a day. It gives you the chance to get over the too-much-food from the late winter holidays, so your resolutions can be less over-reaction and more thoughtful.
Overall, it makes sense to connect the beginning of the growing season — filled with new life, new sunlight, and increasing warmth — to the beginning of the year. After all, don’t we want our New Years to be filled with growth?