Panem New Year

The Gregorian calendar year just finished out, and a brand new year has begun. This got me thinking something odd– does Panem even have a New Years? Sure they have a calendar year, but do they celebrate the end of it, or the beginning of a new one? Or, here is another thought, do they even know what year it is, or is it year 75 for them? Did President Snow like so many real conquerors destroy the countries calendar and make it start completely over with Year One? Historically speaking this isn’t a new practice, for thousands of years cultures would be conquered by others and everything would be altered or destroyed for the remaining citizens, including even their calendar– look at what happened to the New World for example. Time is history.

The farther out you get in the Districts, i.e. places like District 12, the past is a very calendar2abstract, and ephemeral thing– something that’s better to not be thought about, because your next meal means more than knowing that 300 years ago everyone had cars, and access to affordable healthcare. We do know though that people in the Capitol know more about the past, or history, not your average Capitol Citizen though, no– people like Plutarch Heavensbee, and even Effie Trinket. I have a hypothesis that the higher up you are in the ranks of the Capitol, the easier access you have to the relics, the libraries, and perhaps even the museums that house the precious knowledge of the past. I don’t doubt that when the final war that destroyed the North America that most of us know now, in Suzanne Collins’ fictional world, that people, historians, archivists, and religious leaders stole, and hoarded cultural artifacts to keep them safe from being destroyed. People do it now even, not that long ago I recall hearing a news report about almost an entire town in Northern Africa that hid ancient Islamic scrolls and texts, because the town was being invaded by Islamic extremists that would notoriously destroy texts that didn’t adhere to their narrow beliefs. So, an Imam took an entire ancient archive, and split it amongst willing townspeople to hide in walls, cellars, attics, and other off-the-beaten-path places. Who’s to say that North Americans wouldn’t do that same thing?

Does Panem have a New Year though? Do they know that at the end of December a year is up? Or do they mark their calendars solely by The Hunger Games? You tell me.

Them There Eyes

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2 comments

  1. Well, Katniss knew her birthday was May 8th and she knew how old she was, plus they did have a yearly harvest festival. This leads me to believe that they marked the new year to some degree. Perhaps not to the extent we do, but at least as a passage of time.

  2. They do celebrate the New Year in Panem; Katniss mentions when she encounters orange juice on page 55 in the first book that as a treat her father once traded for an orange on New Year’s to celebrate the occasion with a food they had never had. I love the idea that the important Capitol people would have easier access to history materials.

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