Happy New year! 2019 on the calendar, a new page, unmarked as fresh-fallen snow.
And the new moon on January 5 is the first new moon after the winter solstice. It is the first new moon of the new year on the Western (Gregorian) calendar.
Chinese new year will be on February 5, 2019. This year will be the Year of the Pig. It is a spring festival, and a major celebration. It marks the first new moon of the first month on the Chinese (lunar) calendar.
But this is the first week of January, and spring–even Ground Hog Day, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox, is a month away. Right now, people are waiting for winter. January brings it–the cold, the wind, the snow! Historically, the coldest days of the year occur in January in Chicago.
So here we are, walking in this weather, which seems almost springlike in the rain. We know colder days are coming. Here is the forecast from Tom Skilling.
Still, we feel the possibility of new things, a chance to begin again.
I found a wonderful article on thin crescent moons in Sky & Telescope. You can read it here.