It's time for that icy plunge…
Sunday 6th January 2013
Feast of the Epiphany; in Bulgaria (where else?), it’s called Bogoyavlenie, and the entire town band leaps into an icy river playing bagpipes and beating drums; then a wooden cross is chucked into the freezing flood and the first fit young lad who bears it to the snowy bank, no doubt in his chattering teeth, gets to deflower the town’s six remaining virgins to warm himself up again. Not really true, that last bit about the virgins, but you get the picture: after all the feasting and jollity it’s time to sober up with a splash of cold water.
Here there’s a more sedate ceremony of taking down the fairy lights from the Christmas tree, that fire-hazard-cum-fertility-symbol we erect so hopefully every December. The hangover from ongoing New Year parties contributes to a general early-January detumescence. Thoughts turn to diets (‘must lose that thing the size and weight of a decent Xmas turkey that seems to have grown above and around my hips’), alcoholic abstinence (‘you mean we even drank the limoncello? There’s nothing?’) and, yes, resolutions.
Curious to know, I asked some of our regular contributors, a hedonistic lot one would hope, what their New Year’s resolution(s) would be if, indeed, they were making any. The first response, by Malachi O’Doherty, is published today.