Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What did you do on 12:12:12?


Not to be at least a little superstitious is to lack generosity of the mind – De Qunicy
I did not have a peaceful rest on the night of December 11. Why? My neighbour was observing her church ordered vigil to usher in good fortune that 12:12:12 supposedly brings. My neighbour was not the only one that attached a lot of significance to that day. I did too. My son’s birthday fell on that date and I have to celebrate with him on the joy of seeing another year of his life. Many others in Nigeria and around the world believed that the day is a day of luck and fortune. Thus, a lot of people engaged in all manner of spiritual and remarkable deeds. While some organized prayer sessions and musical concerts, some others chose the day to marry while yet other people decided to forcefully gave birth to their babies on 121212. Let us take a tour of how the day was celebrated around the world.
Starting with homeland Nigeria, in a signed advertorial on Friday, December 7, Reverend (Dr) Musa Asake who is the General Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria called on all Christians to organize prayer sessions at midday on 12:12:12. He quoted 1 Timothy 2: 1-2 which says “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” to support the clarion call. According to him “Come December 12th , 2012 at 12 noon prompt, all Christians, nationwide are enjoined to set time aside to pray for our beloved country Nigeria. This is the only country we have to call our own. Enough of all these incessant bloodshed and killings. This special day being the 12th day in the 12th month in the year 2012; is memorable and special. Therefore, it must be put to good use. Prayer is the only tool that never failed mankind. Families are enjoined to gather together to pray at exactly 12 noon. Individuals who may find it difficult to fellowship with their families, friends and loved ones should also set time aside to pray at 12 midday. At the CAN level, each State Chapter is to coordinate her members for a Special Prayer Session at noon.” To the best of my knowledge this call for prayers was observed by many. It is indeed a good thing to pray for one’s country particularly in this turbulent and insecure time. I do hope the good Lord will restore peace unto our country.
Now to other parts of the world, in order to mark the day, the 121212 concert was held at New York Madison Square Garden to raise money for victims of Superstorm Sandy. What a noble gesture! Also, my cousin in United States decided to offer a 10 per cent discount for those who will register for his bead making class scheduled for this month in Nigeria. A Nigerian national newspaper, The Guardian in its world report published on December 13 said that thousands of couples in Asia flocked to the marriage registries to tie the knot on 12/12/12, seeking good fortune for marriages begun on the century’s last repeating date. Also, by the magic of numbers, a Norwegian boy celebrated a very special occasion, feting his 12th birthday on December 12, 2012 –12/12/12 – at 12:12 pm, according to media report. The boy, Joergen Svendsen Killi, was born on December 12, 2000 at 12:12 p.m., according to his birth certificate, a picture of which was published on the site of tabloid Verdens Gang, promising him an unforgettable birthday 12 years later.
The newspaper reported further that authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively said 696 and 540 couples were scheduled to attend marriage registries, continuing a trend, which has seen couples flocking to marry on 11/11/11 and 10/10/10 in both cities. News also indicated that the figure is a near-fourfold increase compared to the daily average in the self-governing Chinese city of Hong Kong, and about an eightfold spike for non-Muslim weddings in Singapore, which is three-quarters ethnic Chinese.
Wait for this, couples also queued to marry in many Mainland Chinese cities, on the basis that 12/12/12 sounded like “will love/will love/will love” in Chinese, the official news agency Xinhua was quoted. In several Indonesian cities, mothers gave birth early by Caesarian section so their offspring could have a lucky birth date.
The news-report added that the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, saw 289 couples taking part in a mass wedding at the Thean Hou Chinese Temple. The National Registration Department said another 306 couples were married at two of its offices near the capital, three times the normal number. At Yogyakarta in Indonesia’s Central Java province 12 male sugar cane workers paraded around town in 12 traditional wagons with their brides to mark the day.
In Singapore hundreds of couples and family members were reported to have trooped in batches to the marriage registry despite pouring rain. One couple in India were able to celebrate an even rarer set of special dates, having got engaged on 10/10/10, held their registered legal marriage on 11/11/11 and finally had a big white wedding in Mumbai on 12/12/12. According to French newswire, Agence France Presse, the next time the same digits will appear in the date, month and year in the same order will be in more than 88 years – on January 1, 2101, or 01/01/01.
I tried to do a little research into biblical numerology and found out that Christians believe that numeral 1 is the number of Unity; 2 is the number of  Division; 3 represents  Divine Perfection; 4 signifies Creation while 5 is the number of Grace.  6 is said to be the number of Man; 7 is the number of Spiritual Perfection; 8 is the number of New Beginnings; 9 is the number of Judgment while 10 is the number of Divine Perfection. 12 is said to be the number of Governmental Perfection while 40 stands for number of Probation or Trial. 
My friend, Obo Effanga in a facebook post, has this to say about the day:  “Face your life friends. There's NOTHING, absolutely nothing about today's date 12/12/12. God did not create the present dating system, humans did and God does not wait until any particular day to bless you. People are simply so superstitious, vain and confused. The annoying thing is when they try to cloak it under religion instead of numerology that it is.” Well, that was his opinion which he has a right to just as those who believe it carries some metaphysical significance are equally entitled to their beliefs. Whatever you did on 12:12:12, I wish you best of luck and compliments of the yuletide.