[identity profile] awdureslf.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] b7friday
Back before the Federation, back even before the shaky attempts at whole planet government that had preceded it, people had celebrated the start of each new year. Blake couldn't remember quite when they'd done this, or how they decided when was the "start" of a single orbit of the sun, and he had a feeling that in any case not every culture on the planet had agreed.

Some choose the point at which the axial tilt of the planet meant the shortest or longest period of daylight or the closest to equal. Some chose a particular occasion when the moon was unobscured by the planet's shadow, or the position of a particular arrangement of stars held to be significant. Some were more arbitrary, choosing a day important in whatever religion was currently being practised, or one simply selected for convenience or historical significance to the government of the day.

The traditions varied as much as the date, special food or drink or gifts were exchanged, visits made, fires and lights lit, bells rung, pyrotechnics launched. Some people made promises to themselves for the year ahead, wishes and goals. However it was marked, it was a new start, an expression of hope for change for the better.

None of these met with Federation approval and the change of digits in the date became a day no different to any other. It could not be otherwise without loss of control.

Citizens living in the domed cities had no business with the changing season or the night sky. Religion had no place, the Federation wanted nothing that attracted a loyalty or community apart from that of the state. Historical dates might encourage people to think of what was different before the Federation or what might come after when what was wanted was acceptance of the here and now. Food and intoxicants might encourage people to question the daily rations, gathering in family groups might raise questions about those that were absent as a result of real or suspected disloyalty, gathering in noisy crowds might foster a dangerous sense of strength. Excitement and awe at visually appealing light displays served no useful purpose and used money more effectively spent elsewhere. Citizens should on no account form the impression that their own aims and goals were more important than the party line and hope was the last thing that should be encouraged.

Change, in short, was marked as little as possible.

"Resolutions" the promises had been called. Something you were resolved to change.

Blake marked the new date and made his resolution.

There would be change.

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