Aug 22, 2023Liked by Classical Wisdom

For the most part, we have lost many rituals marking the days, weeks, months, and years. However, a few linger on and a couple new ones have popped up to replace others.

New Year's Eve rituals cling on no matter what. Even if you do not reserve a table or seat at a a gala at some local restaurant or hotel, many people devise their own rituals. Perhaps they pop open a bottle of ssparkling cider rather than champagne, perhaps they go to a late movie followed by a bite to eat at a local restaurant.

Our clan used to do a round robin of visits to each other's homes on New Year's Eve or Day, when we could play board games and such. Sadly that died out in favor of dining at the home of just one host, buffet style.

One of the newer rituals is the gender reveal party. It all seemed quite charming at first, but it degenerated into one-upping each other as the parents-to-be posted videos online. Finally some disastrous episodes ended in setting fires as fireworks or whatever went awry, so I hope that put the death knell to that ritual.

I knew a couple who liked to end the work week with a martini and quiet chat about whatever -- how the week went, or just chiitchat about anything other than kids and work.

Many families end the work week with a dash to the bank to deposit paychecks and a family outing to a fave local restaurant for whatever dish best marks the beginniing of the weekend for them -- a fish fry, a monster pizza, or a homemade dish like lasagna or chili.

It used to be that couples would mark the end of the week (Friday or Saturday) with a dinner out, dancing at some music hall, including a corsage for the lady and a few drinks. Well, what was very affordable even in New York in the 1940s soon was priced out of reach of average working Joes. More's the pity, as young unmarrieds could not afford to take their time getting acquainted before marrying, or just moving in together.

So the answer is Yes and No. Some rituals, but only a few, hang on. Our lives would be better if we reinstalled more of them and took those few moments to really savor the days.

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I think the most important rituals are Rites of Passage - Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, driving a car alone for the first time at age 16, tossing the tassel at graduation, moving away from home, getting married, the birth of a child, buying your first home........dying. These may not all seem like rituals, but they should be.

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We have lost some rituals, and we have also reinvented and recovered other rituals - https://hiramcrespo.substack.com/p/an-eikas-manifesto

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