Which comes first, Christmas or New Year?

On Tuesday the world will be celebrating Christmas Day; and exactly a week after it’ll be New Year’s Day. It’s the festive season and there’s a lot of movement from shopping to visits to the dear ones.

Well, today we met at our cousin’s place. All the Kings were there, well almost. We were invited for a family lunch. On every such occasion it’s real fun. After lunch it’s time for the latest news, views, stories, jokes, riddles … Romeo is eldest of all and he is specially fond of riddles and is always teasing the others. The grown-ups, especially the males, get on easily with him; not the younger ones and the girls. They are easily offended and this is when Romeo enjoys the most of his sarcastic and ironical tales.

Today Romeo exposed a riddle. It was geared towards Ilalika who is a shop attendant; he is one of those who haven’t completed his schooling as others among us. So Romeo asked Ilalika: “Which comes first, Christmas or New Year?”

“What a silly question!” retorted Ilalika.

“You think I’m fooling you?” pursued Romeo.

“I think you are losing your head as you are growing old,” insisted Ilalika.

“OK, but why don’t you give me the answer?”

“Even the children know that Christmas comes before the New Year. What’s your point in asking such a silly question?” Ilalika was becoming furious. “Is it because I’m not educated as you are?”

Romeo is known for his ‘silly” questions. And whenever he has such questions you should know he is coming at something else. What that could be in this case, I wondered. I was silently brainstorming and I knew there was a catching point out there. Romeo is clever and likes to make fun. I was right. I was amused by Ilalika’s responses.

Everybody was watching in utter surprise. They knew Ilalika’s answer was obvious but couldn’t figure out the real issue: Christmas is celebrated on 25 December and New Year on 1 January. So Ilalika should be right. Isn’t it?

As the suspense was growing I intervened in an endeavour to try to resolve it in another way. “Wait a minute,” I shouted. “New Year comes first.” Everybody stared at me. I knew I owed an explanation.

Let’s take this year 2007. When was New Year in 2007? On 1 January. When will Christmas be celebrated in 2007? 25 December. January comes before December. Right? So New Year comes before Christmas. As simple as that.

Romeo smiled. “It’s just like the question: which came first, the chick or the egg?”

If you have any other “silly” questions, riddles or jokes I’d be interested to hear from you. Use my comment box or contact me if you’d like it posted here. Let’s get into the festive mood.

Enjoy the parties. But take care not to walk with too much money in your pockets. My son just came in to tell me from what he saw on the TV news there’s been a hold up in Quatre Bornes (a town in the centre of the island). There was bloodshed from gunshots.

One Response

  1. JHS December 20, 2007

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