Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tweflth Night

Bayview Park in Key West at three in the morning:
Tonight is Twelfth Night and this is the deadline for removing one's decorations, or a year of bad luck will follow. The city has I hope, taken note of this deadline as 2009 is shaping up to be not a good place to be relying on pure luck to escape economic catastrophe unscathed.Truman Avenue had city displays too: Citizens were also keeping their private displays on view: I hope I have made it clear that I feel no need whatsoever to celebrate the season of shopping by enjoying a nice fat snowfall. Thus a plastic snowman illuminated form within and surrounded by palm trees is entirely up my street:Twelfth Night is supposed to represent the arrival of the Three Wise Men, the Arabs bearing gifts from"afar." Whereas frankincense, myrrh and gold have been supplanted by shopping sprees and gifts are exchanged on or around the 25th of December it wasn't always so. In Italy they talk of la befana, a little old lady who brought modest gifts on this day, and this modest image I found on an Italian website:North American images are more pagan in some sense, trees, snowmen and a penguin. I have no idea what a penguin in a Santa hat represents:Perhaps it isn't a penguin but who knows what it's supposed to be. I enjoy the attempts at making Key West part of the Germanic Christmas history, with trees and snow in the image:Not forgetting reindeer, like they have anything to do with Keys lore and tradition, but they are so small perhaps they are just white Key deer:And behind them I found Good King Wenceslas, St Nick to some, Santa Claus to others playing on a see-saw, again with the plump penguin motif on the other end:
This next on Flagler at Linda could be Christmas lights in red and green the traditional colors, but they are here year round. Disabling traffic lights could be very unlucky for some people:And as I cruised around on my 2am lunch break I did spot some Jews keeping up their own decorations well past the eight day deadline:I like the tradition of each night putting the lighted Menorah in the window to illuminate the world but...not year round! I came across one parsimonious householder with their decorations turned off, symbolic perhaps of my desire to see us all move on with the rest of the year:In the spirit of closing the door on another holiday season here's one of the Bonneville nowhere near any Christmas lights:On Jose Marti Drive, looking northeast up North Roosevelt Boulevard. Not a fairy light in sight.