Decolonizing Your Calendar
“Happy New Year!?” The time of year in which society has indicated to us is the time for new commitments and resolutions. This practice is part of the Gregorian Calendar which upholds the systems of capitalism, white supremacy, and the patriarchy. The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar; this sort of calendar gives a date based on the position of the sun in relation to the stars behind it.
During the seventh century, the arrogant Romans decided that nature-based calendars used by melanated humans since the dawn of time were not good enough for them. Instead, they copied some parts of the Kemetic (Egyptian) calendar and stuck their names into some of the months (Julius Caesar named July after himself and August after Augustus Caesar) to round their system out.
The lunar calendar was the most common calendar before the modern era. When a calendar is imposed on a society, it usually has to do with politics and power. The Gregorian calendar has only been used as a global standard for about a century and is “very much a reflection of European commerce and colonialism.
Where is the sense in celebrating a “New Year” in the dead of winter? There is rational and logical reasoning around why people fall off their new commitments and resolutions within a month of January 1st. Winter is a time for rest and reflection.
As beings of light and life, melanated people across the planet observe the beginning of new life as the beginning of a new year.
The real New Year is when the cycle of life begins again with NEW GROWTH. That is the beginning of Spring, called the Vernal Equinox. It happens on March 20th and its the point in time when the length of both day and night are equal. You cant begin something anew in the dead of winter.
In today’s society we are so disconnected from the seasons and lunar cycles in our world today. In our modern world, we barely notice the seasons except to mark the beginning of a sports season or fashion collection. Thanks to technological advances, snowplows immediately clear the streets of snow, and air conditioners take the heat out of summer. Most of us don't grow our own food; we opt for the convenience of the grocery store. We then buy summer fruit in the middle of winter, winter vegetables in May, and eat crab all year round. We rarely think about the significance of the seasons where outside in winter plants lie dormant or in spring when they are budding or whether animals are resting or bearing their young. In short, we have lost our intimate connection with the earth. Until recently, many haven't even given much thought or energy to the precious resources we've wasted collectively as a species.
Both our planet and our lives can benefit from reconnecting and aligning with the natural rhythms of the earth.