The first few weeks after the holidays are one of my favorite observational times of year. It’s during this time that people engage in rebirth and renewal activities that to a Pagan mind bring on spring, but to a good Southern mind bring on the New Year. The true purpose of simple actions like lighting candles to make a home seem homier when guests come by goes typically unnoticed. Almost every home does it no matter what their religious persuasion. They light candles or fires in their fireplaces, effectively holding the darkness at bay until the days gradually become longer reminiscing a time before electricity.
People make New Year’s resolutions in an effort to better themselves or their lifestyles, not realizing that this, too, is an effort to banish negativity from their lives so that they are better able to receive the results of better choices.
The most common, Spring cleaning, which begins in every good Southern household just as soon as the Christmas decorations come down. It’s a thorough cleansing of any built up energy, be it bad or good, and a rearranging of one’s living space to make it more inviting and open to receiving.
All three of these examples are all about getting a fresh start. They are about beginning anew without any of the past lingering or attaching itself to the open possibilities of the present, which is a good thing no matter what you personal beliefs happen to be.