Night is normally a time for rest, a time to be in peace with yourself in your home — a time of the day when life is expected to be at a standstill, and you are to be in a state of sleep. Tired and ready to crash after your dinner, tentatively planning your tomorrow’s schedules before you go to sleep. Wake Up – that is passé!
Night also has many connotations – for students it means enjoyment because a group of them spend time together, while during exams it is tension because one tends to stay awake all night in the name of preparation. For those at work it is some important work that has suddenly surfaced and needs to be completed to keep up to a deadline. For couples (legal and Illegal) it is a time of excitement, for the night is young, and they wish it could be paused. For the old, the night is already old, and they are looking ahead to the next morning. For parent, night is a time of prayer with a wish that the small children go to sleep without disturbing the peace of the night.
Those who work at night were traditionally referred to by the phrase `Burning the Midnight Oil’ that meant `To work late into the night, as this was originally by the light of an oil lamp or candle. The phrase is used figuratively, referring to its use before electric lighting. Traditionally, one is advised not to embark on travel on the days after No Moon (Amavasya) and Full Moon (Poornima). Creatively cultures added up the Moon to spice up a night and make it exciting in their respective prose, poetry and literature. No wonder that most of the celebrations and festivals across cultures that do not follow the Gregorian calendar fall on full moon night in the (except Diwali).
The word Night used to conjure up darkness, fear and things not so pleasant – for one has heard so many stories across cultures when traders, marriage parties, queen / princess or king/prince travelled in the night through the jungles and were looted by dacoits, bandits.
Normally, Night was time for the success of evil over good, when the evil could enter the place of target and precisely achieve their mission and escape. The good would then ponder over it the next morning and decide on reactions. The evil (considered Asuras) were believed to have double strength in the night, hence one never engaged in battle with them on their strength in the night, and the good (Devas) thus would look to win over them in battles before sunset.
In the modern context Night life in a city is a barometer of excitement and progress of the city. How cultures are making us adapt and evolve into being animals – `nocturnal’ for your ability to stay awake the longest and party is a virtue.
Since marketers are trying to make animals out of us, in the animal kingdom there are the creatures called Cathemeral, those with sporadic and random intervals of activity during the day or night (those who occasionally work and regularly party), Matutinal, those who are only or primarily active in the pre-dawn hours or early morning (call center employees, night shift workers) and Vespertines, only or primarily active in the evening (courier pick up guys).
Humans are generally referred to as larks and owls that respectively refers to morning people (those who wake up early and are most alert in the first part of the day) and evening people (those who are most alert in the late evening hours and prefer to go to bed late) as per Chronotype.`
Humans are normally diurnal creatures, a behavior characterized by activity during the day and sleeping at night that may typically be followed by normal people. The human activity rest is termed as circadian rhythm, biological process driven by a 24 hour clock, or what one would want to label as routine.
Night is now about celebrations, and pampering yourself – be nocturnal, and you are wanted, else you may become dated or outdated!