Monday was the old year, and Tuesday was the New Year - that's pretty obvious. But when does the new year become the old year? Are there transitional stages during which the new year gradually turns into the old year, or does the new year suddenly become the old year, perhaps with a loud bang or puff of smoke? Is there a day on which we can see 'Happy not-quite New Year' or 'Happy Three-Days Older than a New Year'?
Come to think of it, at what point can we say that the well-wishing of a 'Happy New Year' is no longer true or viable? If your hand dropped off in the middle of New Year's Day, it would be a little annoying, true, but not really significant of any ongoing trends. But if, on the day after, when both their hand had dropped off and a steam train had collided with their house, then that would be a real bummer; and wishing them a 'Happy New Year' would seem to be a singularly inappropriate and insensitive gesture on your part.
It's a real head-scratcher, it is.
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