New Year's Day Two: The legal holiday today.
Today is a legal holiday in the US - yesterday was the actual New Year's Day - but today is everyone else's holiday or day off because the real holiday fell on a Sunday. So the Rose Bowl Parade happened today instead of yesterday. Oh! And get this. The local parish church is closed for the secular holiday. I know! You can't even get in.
Church people have the best of both worlds - for those who love their days off. Although, Church holy days are sometimes transferred if they land on a Sunday - so you might have a Sunday obligation with a holy day obligation a couple of days later. No wait - that's not right, is it? Although, if some holy days land on an inconvenient day, they can be transferred to a Sunday - thus 2 birds are knocked off with one stone - that is more like it. Likewise if a solemnity other than Christmas falls on a Monday or even a Saturday - the holy day of obligation rule is often times suspended, and Father gets a holiday. Huh? What if St. Pat's day falls on a Friday in Lent? The fast is usually suspended - so you can eat meat with your beer.
It's confusing, isn't it. But it gets stranger. For instance, those who use the EF of Mass follow the old calendar and celebrate today as the feast of the Holy Name, yet the feast, which was restored to the reformed calendar by JPII is now observed on January 3. Isn't that quizant, Ollie? Now you may not think it's a big deal, but it can confuse people who make novenas - when to begin them? When to conclude them? What day is Mass on? What if the parish is closed like mine is today and you wanted a procession or something?
No wonder I never know how to dress... which explains why I always wear jeans to Mass. Not really - it's my habit - religious people have habits. What?
So when does the New Year really begin? No one really knows, do they... Chinese people have their own, as do Jews, and we Catholics do too - when you consider Advent is the new liturgical year - yet there are two calendars. Something has to be done about that.
Oh yes! Then there is Kwanza. Never mind - that is just for black people.
Photo: From my collection of favorites: Pope receiving Catholic Cats in audience. It could happen.