January 1st, Mary Mother of God
This feast day actually has 3 feasts that are celebrated on this day.The first is the Octave of Christmas or the 8th day of Christmas. The second is the Circumcision of Our Lord.According to Jewish tradition, all male babies were circumcised on the 8th day after their birth.And finally, what we are most familiar with because it is one of the Holy Days of Obligation, Mary, Mother of God.
And we can all also include a 4thcelebration, New Year’s Day!These 4 celebrations all can be connected and serve a similar meaning.To state this simply, it is the dedication of our lives, particularly in this new coming year, to Christ through Mary.
TheGlorious (or Joyful) Mysteries of the Rosary
To Talk About at Dinner:
Don’t forget those New Year’s resolutions.There’s nothing wrong with encouraging a new habit or breaking an old one, even though some may think that New Year’s resolutions are trite.These make fun dinnertime conversations. Once a resolution is announced to the rest of the family, it makes it a little harder to break that resolution, at least while everyone still remembers.
To Do:Attending Mass together either today or yesterday evening should be a focal point of this Marian celebration.I always quote the Old Wives’ Tale to the kids that whatever you do on the first day of the year will be the pattern for how you live the rest of this year.I follow through with, “So how do we want to live the rest of the year?”I get answers like, going to Mass, prayer, dedication to Mary, eating healthy, exercising, studying better in school, etc.Surprisingly, we often try to do some or all of these things on this day, even studying in school since Christmas break is usually just about done.
As with all Marian Feasts, it would be nice to do some kind of Marian devotion today.This could be a short pilgrimage if you have a shrine nearby to visit.Or, how about starting the year with a Mary picture or statue moved to a more prominent place in your home?Another one would be to say the rosary together.
Of course we don’t believe in luck, but we think its fun to pretend and center some of our eating traditions around what we should eat on New Years Day to bring good luck and fortune in the coming year. I always ate sauerkraut growing up in my family of German heritage-something I hated as a kid, but love now. A southern tradition is to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens. Black-eyed peas saved some city from hunger during the Civil War. Greens are a standard in many cultures because the greens represent money that will come your way.I have also heard that eating lentils brings good fortune.This makes sense.Not only are lentils an inexpensive meal, but also incredibly healthy, full of fiber and protein. We should eat more lentils throughout the whole year for this reason. Fish is also a traditional food to serve as well as pork, since pigs are lucky.There are also foods to avoid.Poultry since chickens scratch backwards (you don’t want to regress this year) and your luck may fly away.Lobsters also move backwards. Avoid them.(Not a problem for our large family!)
If you want to try something new this year but not sure how, I liked this video for a Black-eyed peas, pork, and greens, the perfect New Year Dish: http://allrecipes.com/video/485/black-eyed-peas-with-pork-and-greens/detail.aspx?prop24=RR_RelatedVideo