Acelasi-Njejtes and Same-Same Day are two different traditions observed by jackalopes during today’s holiday, the Wednesday before New Year’s Eve. When Christmas or New Year’s Eve falls on a Wednesday, the holiday is celebrated on December 29th.
Acelasi-Njejtes is a holiday tradition that is only about a century old, but the name comes from an ancient language that originated with the Inultaru. The Inultaru were a tribe of jackalopes who had lived since the time of Rome in the Bardenas Reales desert in the Navarre region of Spain. In the sixteenth century, they began to emigrate to the New World, but a jackalope community remained in Bardenas Reales until 1969. Because of the United States escalating their bombing tests at NATO’s Bardenas Reales firing and bombing range, the last Inultaru left the region in 1972. The Inultaru now live in various other communities scattered around the world.
Acelasi-Njejtes is often translated from Inultaru as “Crowning-with-Clementines”. The word “njejtes” is a word used for any hybrid of the mandarin orange, much the same way we use the word “tangerines”. Satsumas are almost as popular as clementines for Acelasi-Njejtes. “Acel” is the act of putting a thing on top of another thing, and “acela” is the act of crowning royalty.
Crowning-with-Clementines is a wish-making tradition. For example, if your wish is that a friend will enjoy good fortune in the coming new year, you would put three clementines on top of other things that are not clementines. You are not allowed to put all your clementines together on one thing, you must put them on three different things. However, someone else is allowed to put one of their clementines next to yours, crowning the same thing. In fact, this is a good move, because the chance of good fortune doubles with each added clementine. The type of wish you are making for the new year requires a specific number of clementines. The count goes thus:
One clementine is a wish for a death. (This sounds scary and morbid, and indeed it is not a popular wish. It is meant for people who are very old and/or terminally ill, who would like to depart this world quickly and painlessly. People take care not to leave a clementine sitting alone somewhere in the house on the holiday. Even without the wish, it is considered bad luck.)
Two is a wish for your own good fortune.
Three is a wish for the good fortune of a friend.
Four is a wish for true love.
Five is a wish for the healthy birth of a baby.
Six is a wish for wealth.
Seven is a wish for a mystery solved or a secret revealed.
Eight is a wish for the defeat of an enemy.
Nine is a wish to live forever.
It is common knowledge that Crowning-with-Clementines is a tradition that did not originate with jackalopes. The Inultaru may have given it a Jackalopian name, but they insist they stole the tradition itself from somewhere outside of Jackalopian culture. However, they failed to make a record of the source. I have not been able to find a tradition like it. The only thing that turned up in my Google searches was a video of the Monty Python sketch about the Royal Society For Putting Things On Top of Other Things.
(Reprint of this comic as it appeared in the Viet Mercury, a Vietnamese language newspaper published by the San Jose Mercury News, on December 27th, 2000.)
If you are a jackalope, Same-Same Day should be dated the same as the day before (so today would be December 29th). Or so I thought. Recently I discovered that this tradition was originally established only for members of certain vocations. Poets, lyricist (including librettists), scribes and translators, lexicographers and cartographers, paper hangers and house painters, gravediggers and professional mourners (practitioners of keening and oppari), brewmasters, winemakers and distillers are among those who observe Same-Same Day as a tradition of their professional life.
Like Crowning-with-Clementines, the tradition of Same-Same Day is not a truly venerable one. It was created by jackalopes in 1918, in retaliation for the adoption of Daylight Savings Time by England, Canada and the United States. Since DST was instigated as a scheme for greater profit for industry, participation in the Same-Same tradition is a choice for job-holders. Unions and guilds can vote as often as every year on the issue; they can observe Same-Same Day one year and ignore it the next. Most labor organizers hold a vote every four or five years.
Jackalopes regard Daylight Savings Time as useless and confusing, and have various reasons why they dislike it, but they have two major philosophical objections. The first is that it was adopted to make war easier, specifically, World War I. Jackalopes do not consider themselves pacifists. They have professionals in their culture–adventurers, thieves, assassins–who are trained to use violence if the act is necessary and justified. Jackalopes intimately understand the requirements of the vendetta and the need for vengeance. Yet jackalopes are entirely opposed to war, and they certainly detest any machination that is supposed to make war easier. The Jackalopian attitude is that war needs to be hard and horrible and costly, so people will make great efforts to avoid it. They hate the way wealth in America has made war far too easy. They hate the way men make war into a game.
Advocates of Daylight Savings Time insist that having more hours of daylight after the end of a workday induces people to consume other goods and services. Jackalopes respond to this argument with their second major objection–they do not want or require industrialists to help them use their leisure time more productively. Jackalopes accept capitalism as a marketplace model, but they do not care for it as a life philosophy or a cultural identity.
Same-Same Day is their bit of absurd defiance against Daylight Savings Time. Yes, they will conform and turn their clocks forward one hour in the spring, and one hour back in the fall. So what? The US government can make two hours each year disappear, but on Same-Same Day jackalopes will turn back the calendar one day, and make a whole day disappear.