Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Decemv* (for Decemb*)

December is the twelfth and final month in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars, but it was the tenth month in the Roman one, which began its year with March. (Decem means ten in Latin.) It's a good month in which to party, at least in parts of the world where December is cold and dark, and is perhaps most famously associated with Christmas and Hanukkah. However, there are quite a few religious and ethnic holidays to commemorate his month, as well as a long laundry list of other partisan, facetious, thought-provoking, and serious "days" to choose from, such as "Children's Day" (celebrated in different places on different days, first proclaimed in 1925, then universally established in 1954); Great Britain's "Chewidden Thursday" (marking the discovery of "white" or smelted tin—by a saint); "Military Abolition Day" in Costa Rica (where the military and police are pretty much one and the same thing); Turkmenistan's "Good Neighborliness Day" (kind of speaks for itself); and Canada's "White Ribbon Day" (on which to recall the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre, in which an armed student murdered fourteen women in the name of "fighting feminism"). The flower for December is Narcissus, which to me might signify the very best thing about this month: that it's all downhill from here and that soon enough we'll be seeing lovely yellow and white daffodils waving in the yard. There were 58 cases of today's typo found in OhioLINK, and "too many records found for your search" in WorldCat.

(Narcissus papyraceus, Kyoto, Japan, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

No comments: