The First Day of The New Year

Ray Baird

THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR 2016 The new year is less than one day old and there is still plety of time to wish everyone a Happy New Year There is still plenty of timw to make resolutions for the yeat of 2016. One practical solution that will bring dividends for many years to come is making it a priority to recycle as many items as possible to keep landfills from filling up and also to improve the enviorment. Recycling is easy and the townof Rural Hall makes it easier by providing roll out recycling bins to place recyclable materials in. You can recycle newspapers, plastic bottles, metal cans, broken up cardboard boxes, milk cartons, glass jars and bottles, soft drink cans and other household items. Everything you recycle will keep the trash bin from filling up.

A LATE GIFT OF JANUARY WEATHER LORE Here is a late and unsusual weather-related gift for everyone on New Year’s Day that may be interesting as well as something to take note of this month. A small nugget of winter weather lore states that if lightning occurs in the month of January, you will see snow in April. My grandmother said that thunder in winter, count the number of claps of thunder and it will snow in that many of says. Snow in April is verry possible considering the fickleness of that month. One thing about snow in April is that it will only be ebough to melt your heart!

THE DAY OF EPIPHANY OR OLD CHRISTMAS The day of epiphany will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 6, 2016. This day is also known as Old Christmas or another title is The Twelfth Night, which ends the twelve days of Christmas. It is the day we celebrate the arrival of the wise men to a house in Bethlehem, to worship the Christ child. On North Carolina’s outer banks, at Rodanthe, this night is celebrated with bon fires, fish fries and oyster roasts as well as a visit from Old Buck, a legendary bull who brings gifts. This seems to be the only place in North Carolina where this day is celebrated.

THE GIFT OF AN EXTRA MINUTE OF DAYLIGHT Since December 21, 2015, we have been receiving a gift of one minute of extra daylight every evening. We can’t tell much difference but by the end of january it will be half an hour or more of sunshine.

CHECKING OUT THE 2016 GARDEN CATALOGS They have been arriving since before Christmas but now is the time to browse through them and see what is new for the 2016 growing season. It is great to try varieties that can’t be found in the garden shops and seed stores, but remember that most of the packets only come with 30 seeds and are costly. It is more practical to purchase from local sees businesses were seeds are sold by the ounce or pound for much less. Always consider that seed magazines have hidden costs of shipping and handling. We usually only order the varieties that outdo what we find in stores.

THE QUICK TRANSITION FROM CHRISTMAS to VALENTINES From red and green to to pink, red and white valentines have occupied a place in many stores and shop windows. Valentines day is only 44 days away, so in early winter, why not brighten the stores with love and bright valentines? It’s not too early to order flowers for your velntine or select a gift or atleast spend some time searching around.

QUAINT CUSTOMS AND NEW YEAR TRADITIONS On New Year’s Day, here are some old fashioned traditions grandma and Mom always maintained, probably from their parents. Grandma always thought it was bad luck for a female to be the first person to enter her home on New Year’s Day and would go as far as to pre-arrange for her sister’s husband to knok on the door on New Year’s morning to assure good luck. My mom believed that nothing of the old year should carry over into the new year, so this day would actually be a clean up day for her. She also believed it was bad luck to have Christmas decorations still in the house or in the windows although my brothers and I were in favor of keeping them up. Of course they kept the custom of bacl-eyed pease, cornbread and collard greens on New Year’s Day. One of grandma’s sayings was that the first twelve days of the new year would be a sample of what the rest of the year would be like. This was the kind of saying that if it rained on the first Sunday of the year, it would rain every Sunday that year. How did all of these customs originate? Even though there must have been, they still had plenty of time to think up customs and sayings to pass on.

RECYCLING CHRISTMAS BOXES AND BOWS AND WINDING STRINGS OF LIGHTS As you wrap up the Christmas season, establish a practical, useful tradition of your own by recycling gift boxes and bags to use during the year and next Christmas. Most boxes can be unfolded and stacked neatly together to take up less space. All bows can be placed in one large box and labeled. As strings of lights are removed from the tree, check for burned out lights and replace them now instead of next Christmas. Use sections of newspaer, rolled up the vertical (long) way and wind each string on a section of newspaper. Start the string with the socket end and wind so that they plug end wioll be at the end of each strand. This will make lights easier to connect to each other next season with no tangles. Place all the lights together in a plastic moisture-proof container.

KEEP THE MORAVIAN STAR BURNING AS you remove the Christmas decorations, leave the moravian star up and light it each night, all night, through January 6, 2016, which is the day of epiphany, when wise men visited Jesus.

JANUARY ALMANAC Today is New Year’s Day. The new moon of January will occur on Saturday, January 9, 2016. The day of Epiphany will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Benjamin Franklin’s birthday is Sunday, January 17, 2016. Martin Luther King’s birthday will be observed on Monday, January 18, 2016. There willbe a full moon on Saturday, January 23, 2016 and this moon is named “Full Wolf Moon”. The moon reaches it’s last quarter on Sunday, January 31, 2016.

Ray Baird has been providing gardening tips to the community for years and can be reached at 336-969-9350 or at

Ray Baird

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