By now all the happy greetings are out of the way. Happy New Year, Happy New Year,….we’ve recounted the greeting to about everyone we know and many we don’t. I’m not sure if the ‘happy’ is supposed to be for the day or for the entire year. There doesn’t feel like enough backbone to the phrase to mean – be ‘happy’ for a whole year. If so, why not just wish others a happy life and be done with it.
But a Happy New Year greeting is only a way of being nice. It’s not like we truly mean it, looking deeply into the other’s eyes, projecting the ‘happy’ feeling in an empathetic and existential way. It’s more like saying ‘have a nice day,’ except the wish is a little broader — ‘have a nice year’ and while you’re at it, make it ‘happy.’
Perhaps what we are happy about is that December 31 closes a chapter and January 1 gives us an opportunity to start again, with a fresh new calendar.
We are cyclical creatures because we live on a cyclical planet, in a cyclical solar system, so it’s only natural that we like celebrating cycles. If we wanted to, we could celebrate the completion or the beginning of each day. We could wake up and wish each other (and ourselves) a ‘happy’ new day, celebrating a complete rotation of the earth’s axis. If we did this 365 times per year would that be too much? It might become rote. Maybe better to save the ‘happy’ greetings for annual events, like birthdays, anniversaries, mother’s/father’s/valentine’s days, and new year. If we got accustomed to dishing out ‘happy’ greetings daily, it could make annual cycle-celebrations explode into real-life orgasms.