The Summer Olympics are about to begin. The fact that it’s actually winter in Rio doesn’t seem to bother anyone. So why now? Why not six months from now when summer would actually happen in the southern hemisphere?
The fact is, Mother Nature has some serious clout. Research shows she determines the time clock for a whole bunch of events that our human species celebrates:
- In the year 325CE the smart guys running the Roman Catholic Church decided Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. That did stir up a controversy about just exactly who decides when the moon is truly fully illuminated. And some objected to having a movable feast. Of late, if a consensus could be reached among Christian churches, we might all celebrate Easter every year on the second Sunday in April. But the Holy Roman Church seems to have a boatload of other more pressing problems…
- Our national Election Day was a real mish-mash at first with states determining when they would hold elections. Then in 1845, the Feds decided ‘enough is enough’ and Congress established a national election day. They selected November because the crops were in, the harvest done. Mondays didn’t work because people didn’t travel on Sundays – the Lord’s Day – but Tuesdays worked just fine for those who had to go a ways to get to their polling place. And November 1st, All Saints Day, was out, as well as the first of the month when shopkeepers did their books to close out the preceding month. So it all makes perfect sense in this 21st century space age of lightning communications for today’s elections to occur on the Tuesday right after the first Monday in November. Right?
- So back to the Olympics – as per the WSJ – “(In ancient Greece) for the first five days in August straddling the first full moon, athletes and their trainers, aristocrats and artists, poets, philosophers, hawkers and artisans congregated at Olympia to see and be seen, do deals and exchange ideas. Much of that time was spent in…grand processions… banquets… and competitions….” Doesn’t sound much different from what we will see starting in Rio commencing next Friday. Go USA!