December 31

Observances:
Pridie Kalendas Ianuarius (Day before the First of January; Roman)
Beginning of Halcyon Days (Roman)
The Sixth Day of Christmas
Sixth Night of Kwanzaa
Lucky Day of Sekhmet (Egyptian)
New Year's Eve/Hogmanay: a night to get drunk, make resolutions you'll break tomorrow, shoot your shotguns, bang your pots and pans, and welcome in another year as you sing an old Scots song you don't know the words to. Bring in the new year, let out the old, and make it a good one:

If New Year's Eve night-wind blow south
That betokens warmth and growth
If west, much milk, and fish in the sea
If north, much cold and storms will be
If east, the trees will bear much fruit
If north-east, flee it, man and brute.

Important Events:
1492: Jews expelled from Spain
1600: British East India Company chartered
1783: import of slaves banned in northern United States.
1805: Frances gives up on wacky Republic Calendar, joins the rest of world.
1946: Harry Truman finally declares end of World War II
1995: Final Calvin and Hobbes strip

Birthdays:

  • 1959: Paul Westerberg, Bebe Neuwirth, and Val Kilmer (there's an odd group)
  • 1963: Scott Ian of Anthrax

    Deaths:
    Wacky emperor-cum-gladiator Commodus
    1384: John Wycliffe, executed for translating the Bible from Latin into English.


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  • the seconds pass
    with scrutiny reserved
    for winter nights like these
    illuminated still
    in flaking green and red

    the grey of a white
    christmas past
    unfrozen curbside
    dark and briny
    pools in asphalt hollows

    and beneath the many-throated
    call of eager lips intoxicated
    with the advent of the new
    the selfsame seconds
    pass as passed unremarked

    and just as unbefitting
    of such dizzy cheer

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