Summer Solstice: Cicadas sing

December 31st, 2011
by Jo Law

This pentad ended on the last day of the Gregorian calendar. Devised primarily to correct the drifting dates of Easter resulted from the inaccuracy of the Julian calendar, the new calendar was decreed by Pope Geogory in 1582. The adoption of this new calendar first occured in Catholic countries where the exact time of Easter was of great importance. This reform necessitated the calendar to skip from October 4th to October 15th, and its introduction was met with riots and unrest where citizens, amongst other justified greivences, felt that 10 days were stolen from them. The split created by Protestants and Catholics in 16th century Europe meant that this new time was not uniformly established until well into mid-18th century.

At the end of 2011, the Samoan Islands on the Pacific Ocean urshed in a similar but less drastic reform in shifting the International Dateline to its east (reverting to its timezone 119 years earlier). It skipped Friday December 30th and became amongst the first to see the new year in. Four hours later, Sydney celebrated the new year with fireworks over the Harbour Bridge with a reported crowd of 1.5 millions. Adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1873, Japan performed the custom of welcoming in a new year wtih 108 rings of bells at Budhist temples all over the country, 9 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time. An hour later, in Hong Kong, fireworks were sent up to the sky from the middle of the harbour accompanied by streams of colours let off from top of skyscrapers along the harbour front at the finale.

In Austinmer, new year was celeberated at 11 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time. Amidst the chilled night air, bright pops of fireworks can be heard. At the stroke of midnight, new year cheers rippled down the hill and all around

Weather statistics for December 2011

2 Responses to “Summer Solstice: Cicadas sing”

  1. 1 Mike
    January 1st, 2012 at 17:50

    Our friend Nigel Helyer, who has been staying, awaited midnight with trepidation…… According to him, the Mayans had predicted the world would end in 2012.
    Well his attention to details of the story was not good – the day is the 21st December 2012, a little under 12 months time.
    A quick reference to the G-sources show that the balance of opinion rubbishes this statement as being unscientific and contradictory to the astronomical observations that the Mayans based their prediction on…… these were made over 5,000 years ago, so hopefully someone has been careful with the sums.

  2. 2 Jo Law
    January 4th, 2012 at 10:28

    The-end-of-the-world predictions are funny. They generate such anticipation and talk but once the dates pass without much fanfare we forget about them completely until the next one comes along.

    We camped down at Wynchinnicup (no electricity, no drinking water for miles around) when 1999 ticked over to 2000. We sat on granite rocks by the cool river drinking cups of tea. A frog leapt up from the rock crevices to say ‘happy new year!’ We would hardly have noticed if all the services shut down giving rise to complete chaos – the end of the world as predicted.

    I guess, there have indeed been many end-of-the-worlds for plenty of people, we are just lucky that it has not been our turn as yet.