It seems that the feeling I wrote about in my last blog is the phenomenon called January blues. I am not the only one suffering from it, as was evident from the status updates around me: those with jobs did not want to be at work and those without…oh the irony.
After a quick google, I found an article in the Independent from two years ago with the inspiring title: How to beat the January blues. It starts with ” Lower your expectations.” All the new year resolutions you made, the changes you planned are not going to happen the first week of January. Ah, that should take the pressure off.
Some countries like Spain and the Czech republic have a better way to deal with
the January blues, they continue celebrations: today is Epiphany. The day that Caspar/Gaspar, Balthasar/Balthazar and Melchior stumbled upon the stable and visited baby Jesus. I always wondered why God sent men: did anyone bring a babygrow , a sling or even Infacol or Sudocrem? Noooo, gold and myrrh. Mary must have been delighted sitting in her mod-con stable… ” Erh thanks guys…you shouldn’t have.”
Anyway God was revealed in the incarnation of the little one and thus we celebrate by giving children gifts and throwing sweets around. If the thought of more gifts and more sweets trigger overload in your mind please remember that those poor children had to wait for their presents. Twelve days of presents under the tree…
In other countries groups go around houses and sing songs for a) money for the church b) food for the poor c) both and every variety on that. Charity in January after the glut and indulgence the month before – I like that.
Lastly – and this excites me most as it involves cake, no not the Great Fruitcake Toss that they apparently organise in Colorado (Thanks ever insightful Wikipedia.) but the Kings Cake. Also not to be confused with the cake for the Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans which works on the same principle explained below.
This cake can take different forms in different countries: bread-like, cake like, puff pastry, crown shaped, loaf etc etc. The idea is that you hide one bean in the mixture and the person who gets the bean in his piece gets to be the king of the day. Hooray!
So this is my recipe for shaking that January blues, even if you are not allowing yourself to eat cake:
1. Pretend you had one. 2. Pretend you found the bean. 3. Pretend you are the King/Queen for the Day.
Enjoy the day!