For some of you, it is already the New Year — 2011.
In the old hokku calendar we are still over a month away from the New Year, which comes on February 4th — just at the edge of spring. But our Western New Year, oddly, comes shortly into winter, and one might think it is a beginning more by the calendar than by natural events. It is after the Winter Solstice, and nowhere near the Vernal Equinox. But actually, we are really still within the Twelve Days of Yule, which begin on the Winter Solstice — so in that sense, I suppose, we can consider our New Year the end of the Solstice Season.
If you want to take a look at the differences between the old and new calendars, you might want to revisit this earlier posting:
That will show you that the old Western calendar and the Japanese hokku calendar were not much different, but of course our modern “official” calendar is considerably changed.
In any case, this is a good time to wish all of you who read this site a very happy New Year.