January 1 is the traditional Christian commemoration of the Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Anglican churches which use the Book of Common Prayer still remember that feast. The Catholic Church changed the name and focus of January 1 some years ago to the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, which used to be a holy day of obligation full stop.  However, depending on what day of the week it falls, a Catholic diocese can abrogate (waive) it as such. Certain countries waive the requirement to attend Mass; others do not.

Personally, I prefer the Feast of the Circumcision as it demonstrates that Mary and Joseph did not think they — or Jesus — were above obeying Jewish law.

If you would like to read more about this feast and see a stained glass depiction of it, click on my 2010 New Year’s Day post.