03 January 2011

3 January - Quadrantids; 10th Day of Christmas; Handsel Monday

Astronomy:  The Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks tonight (actually, tomorrow morning before dawn).  While there is a new moon tonight (no moon visible), making it optimum viewing, EarthSky says that "...eastern Europe and western Asia will be in the right place" to see it, while North America is likely to miss out.

I usually miss this anyway, because if the skies are not overcast (or snowing), it is bone-chillingly cold out - this is a case of see a falling star, make one quick and shivery wish, and run back inside to the warmth of central heating.
Weather: the weather today foretells the weather of October and March.
Brilliant sunshine and chilly.

It will be the same weather for nine weeks as it is on the ninth day after Christmas.  Nine weeks. That takes us to March.  I find it hard to believe that we will have brilliant sunny (but chilly) days through (snowy) January and (snowy) February.
In old Scottish tradition, the first Monday of the year was called Handsel Monday, a day something akin to the English Boxing Day, with the giving of presents of trinkets or money by seniors to juniors - masters to servants, parents to children, householders to postmen, dustbin-men, and newspaper delivery boys, etc.  Anything new that came into one's life on this day, such as a child, a calf, a lamb, or money, augured good luck for the rest of the year.