Do you want your resolution to be a bit different and special this New Year? Here are six food and cooking related ideas for you to think about. Over the coming weeks, I will pick up on each theme more fully, but in the meantime follow the links to start your information gathering. Don’t procrastinate for too long – just pick one and get going with it.
I know – keeping up that resolution is the problem. If you have relented by Lent, then pick yourself up and start again. And, as luck would have it, January 1st isn’t the only new beginning. New Year has been celebrated variously between March and January throughout European history. Other countries, cultures and religions hold New Beginning celebrations in different months. The Recipe for Success is to use these as opportunities to regroup and recommit. Happy 2017!
Resolution Ideas and Links:
- Go Meat Free on Mondays
- Dry January – Join thousands of others in giving up alcohol in January and then commit to two alcohol free days a week.
- Throw a party as a charity fundraiser –#CookforSyria, Curry for change, World’s biggest coffee morning. Have fun and do good. Research other food related charity fundraisers in your area.
- Learn a cooking or food skill – Go on a course and learn to cook – from scratch, or learn a new cuisine. You could have family fun with this one too, commit to learning more about another culture through their food, either as a project or on holiday.
- Ditch the diet and eat real food.
- Pass on your cooking skills –Gather and cook with family and friends – set aside a regular time to cook and eat together. You will be amazed at how much youngsters pick up from just watching, but they also love to be involved so don’t be afraid to let them chop and stir. Another way to pass on your skills and knowledge might be to volunteer for an afterschool club or adult education class.
Facts about New Year’s Day/s to keep you going:
BC46 the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar moved New Year to January 1st ( from March). January was the month of Janus, the god of new beginnings and people gifted each other sweets for a ‘Sweet New Year’, and civil servants were sworn into to office on this day.
The Gregorian Calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 also designated January 1st as New Year’s Day. However, it took 150 years for it catch on Britain where it wasn’t ‘tradition’ until the 1700’s.
The Chinese New Year is astrologically determined and falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20th February. This year it falls on Saturday January 28th.
March, the month of the Vernal or Spring Equinox, marks the beginning of Spring, new growth and life. This was the month when many ancients celebrated New Year . The Babylonians, 4,000 years ago, held 12 days of festivities during March, offering promises to which ever gods they needed to keep favour with that year.
Ironically, as war is the opposite of life, the Early Romans marked their New Year on March 1st. The month was associated with Mars the god of War. Rome was then a military society and soldiers were expected to pledge allegiance to the Emperor before the War season began in earnest, towards the end of March. The Romans at this time had a ten month calendar and January and February didn’t even exist until between 715-673BC.
In Ancient Egypt the New Year was welcomed in with the first annual flooding of the Nile which occurred at some point between the end of May and June.
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is celebrated in September. This year if falls between sunset on September 20, to nightfall on September 22.
Muharram in September/October marks the beginning of the Islamic year. This year the sacred month falls between 21st of September and the 17th October.
In the Middle Ages the New Year was celebrated in Christian countries on December 25th – Christmas day. Is it coincidence that the Babylonians held 12 days of New Year festivities during the Spring equinox and that our Christmas also marked by 12 days, with January 1st just happening to fall in the centre of the holiday?
Wishing you all a very Happy and Sweet 2017.
And do please share your ideas and experiences with us here, it’s a great motivator to hear your stories.