Dog's Dinner

"You're not loved because you're lovable, you're lovable 'cause you're loved."

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Happy Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or What You Will

It's also Christmas Eve for the Russian Orthodox, don't know about other branches of Orth. I've always loved the idea of Epiphany because just when you feel like things are or should be returning to normal after the machine-gun burst of bacchanalia that includes Christmas, Boxing Day, my birthday (Dec. 27), New Year's revelry, and my sister Susan's birthday (Jan. 3), things get going again and you get to drink champagne and "tirer les rois"-- eat a piece of marchpane cake which, if you're lucky, has a tiny porcelain statuette of one of the three kinglike Zoroastrian priests who came to see the Expected One (or, if your family is more secularist, perhaps a hippopotaumus or a shepherdess) inside it-- if you live in France, that is.

The Russians, of course, are unsurpassably brilliant at keeping the party going-- after celebrating the regular ordinary New Year's Eve, a rather grand affair over there, they have Christmas now (actually a lot of the "New Russians" now celebrate "Catholic Christmas" too), and then a week later they celebrate the Old New Year (the New Year according to the old, Gregorian calendar, the Russians having adapted the Julian calendar used in the West only after the 1917 Revolution). And of course governmental and other offices basically shut down during this two-week period because of, you know, "the holidays."


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