Friday, December 28, 2007

Joyous Kwanzaa Boxing Year!

Due to these holidays sharing the same days, as well as my own personal laziness, I shall be talking about two holidays today: Kwanzaa and Boxing Day. Both holidays are held on the 26th of December, and both involve cultures that did not originate in America, though both have spread to it.

Kwanzaa, being a mostly African holiday, lasts for 7 days and was developed to be an African alternative to Christmas. Don’t believe me? Look it up on Wikipedia. It was started in the 1960’s specifically for African-Americans that aren’t Christian. The original idea, and the basic idea for quite a few families, is to remember your origins, your family, and your race. This was the first, and I believe only, African-American holiday to be created. Sure, the Africans have other holidays, but this one, developed specifically for African-Americans, is the only one to be publicly celebrated without you needing to read a national geographic or an encyclopedia. Kwanzaa is slowly becoming another standard holiday, like Christmas, but the pace it is going will set it back for a while. Currently, it is still for Africans only, but give it time. Soon it may become the holiday for minorities or something, who knows.

As for Boxing Day, now here is a holiday I think everyone should celebrate, even if it is mostly for the Commonwealth of Nations. I first heard about this holiday from an old TV show, M*A*S*H. On that show, Boxing Day was when the troops would switch places. The officers and enlisted men would trade jobs, for 24 hours. Already, I thought this was a great idea! Upper Class and Lower Class trading places? Talk about a great way to try the grass on the other side of the fence. Some might enjoy a day of bliss, whether it be worry free or enjoying the glamour, and some would get a decent humbling that they deserve. As I delved deeper into my research on Boxing Day, I learned that it was significantly more than that. In fact, Wikipedia hasn’t even heard of the version I just spoke of. According to them, Boxing Day, celebrated on the 26th, 27th or 28th, depending on if the 26th is on a weekend, came about from employers leaving a clay box out front of their business, usually a store, and have themselves and the customers place money into this box. At the end of the day, the box would be smashed open and the money would be divided up amongst the employees, that being their end-of-the-year bonus. This isn’t such a bad idea. Wouldn’t you like to get a bonus this way? The boss would be forced to place at least a little bit of money in. And, if you work in a store, the customers would place in money too, potentially tripling your bonus! Sounds like an excellent idea. The only problem I could see is that it might replace the Christmas bonus… unless the boss didn’t need to place any money in the box, in which case he wouldn't lose a cent and the customers could show their appreciation by giving you a grand New Year’s gift.

Speaking of New Years, I might as well throw this in there too. We’ll be celebrating the turning over of the year. We’re going onto 2008, which is 8 years after when the world should have ended, 7 years after it should have ended again, and only 4 years before we try another one. Oh yeah, and Bush finally leaves office.


Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the president of the united states, nor democracy as a whole. But I DO have problems with Bush, as do all democrats and most republicans, and I’ll be happy to see him go.

As for the New Year’s holiday, I honestly think this is a stupid idea. Let’s look at what this “holiday” is all about. We are celebrating the end of the year. We survived another cycle around the sun. Why are we celebrating it on this particular day? Because someone, thousands of years ago, decided that this is the last day of the year. That’s it. Maybe it was one guy, maybe it was a small group. It couldn’t have been a woman, I know that much. Women could not be stupid enough to end a year and begin a season at the same time. I think a bunch of guys were sitting around a fire, drinking liquor, and wanting to throw a party that would keep them moving and bring a lot of warm bodies together. So, on one of the coldest days they could find, they decided, "We’re having a party tonight!" "What’s the occasion?" "We’ve lasted this long, haven’t we? That’s good enough reason." After a few goes at this, they settled of a specific day, which resulted in a calender to keep track of when that day was, and they proceeded to make up a bunch of names for everything that referenced the sun, the moon, and the gods they were worshiping at the time.

As for the New Year’s resolution, which is basically a promise to yourself that you will probably break, I made a resolution long ago to not make anymore resolutions. I haven’t broken it yet, and I don’t plan to.

Grand Boxing Day, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, Seasons Greetings, and Happy Holidays to anyone who still thinks it matters.


Rushing Zephyr / Mr Epic Hero said...

We all thought it, and you said it! Keep preaching the truth brotha!

Ginny said...

Reading over this one. I learned a few things I didn't know and probably a lot other people didn't either. You hit the nail right on the head about resolutions. I think people make them because it's expected of them. Knowing that they will not keep them. I quit making them long time ago. You are probably right a woman didn't do this. LOL I enjoyed this Blog very much. Ginny