The Happy New Year was first celebrated by the Babylonians around 4,000 years ago. However, it wasn’t on the 1st of January. The Babylonian New Year started with the first New Moon following the first day of spring, or the middle March. The celebration of the Babylonian New Year lasted eleven days with each day celebrating its own unique event.
Romans kept the tradition of celebrating the New Year in March. However, several of their emperors change the calendar so much that it was out of sync with the sun. The Roman senate declare January 1 the start of the New Year in 153 B.C. The emperors continued to alter the calendar, but this didn’t stop them. They adjusted the calendar for 46 BC. Julius Caesar establish the Julian calendar, which once again designated January 1 as the New Year. Caesar extended the previous year by 445 days in order to sync the calendar with sun.
The New Year And The Church
The Romans celebrate the Happy New Year well into the first century AD. However, the early Catholic Church declare that New Year’s celebrations were pagan. The church began to hold its own religious celebrations as Christianity spread. The Church continue its opposition to New Year’s celebrations well into the Middle Ages. Finally, on February 24, 1582 Pope Gregory XIII sign a decree introducing Gregorian calendar. Also known as the Western calendar or Christian calendar. The official Happy New Year’s Day celebration in Western countries is now on January 1.
The New Year’s Baby
Around 600 BC, Dionysus’ celebration in Greece, the god wine, inspire the custom of using a baby as a symbol of the New Year. To honor Dionysus, revelers would place a baby in an open basket. This was to symbolize his annual rebirth and the spirit of fertility. Rebirth was also a symbol for early Egyptians.
Although the early Christian Church condemned the New Year’s Baby as a pagan symbol for fertility, ordinary people saw the baby as a symbol for rebirth and renewal. The popularity of the New Year’s baby grew and eventually, the church change its mind. Although the Church allowed Christians to celebrate Happy New Year’s Eve with a baby, it state that the baby was not for the Baby New Year.
German immigrants brought the image and banner of a baby, which represent the New Year to America, with them. This symbol was used since the 14th century. They introduce it to their neighbors.
Celebrate The New Year At Museum
Recent years have seen museums from other cultures and historical museums become parties for New Year’s Eve, and even field trips for New Year’s Day. You can spend a relaxing New Year’s Eve with your family at the Independence Seaport Museum, watching the fireworks or taking part in the many fun activities offer by historical and children’s museums for New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Traditions
Many traditions have developed over the 500-year history of the Happy New Year, which was celebrate on January 1. These include spending New Year’s Eve at home with loved ones, traditional Happy New Year food, and making Happy New Year resolutions.
According to New Year’s legend, a person can shape their luck for next year by care fully eating on the first day. New Year’s Eve parties are often all night long because it is a tradition to welcome in the new year with friends and family.
Another tradition from the Happy New Year is that the first person to visit on Happy New Year’s Day will bring good luck or bad luck throughout the year. The year will be blessed with good fortune if the first Happy New Year’s Day visitor is a tall, dark-haired man.
To bring luck for the next year, people eat traditional New Years’ foods. Some cultures believe that ring-shape objects bring luck, as the ring represents a complete circle or the completion of a year’s cycle. According to the Dutch, eating donuts on Happy New Year’s Day is a sign of good luck.
Americans in some areas of the United States eat black eye beans and hog jowls to welcome the Happy new year. Peas and other legumes are believed to bring luck, while ham is thought to denote prosperity. People also eat cabbage on Happy New Year’s Day as the cabbage leaves are considered paper currency and a sign for prosperity. Rice is consider lucky food in some areas of America on New Year’s Day.
The Tournament Of Roses Parade
Pasadena Valley Hunt Club’s first Tournament of Roses parade was held in 1890. Club members decorate their carriages in flowers to celebrate the orange crop’s ripening. Since then, the parade is held in Pasadena every Happy New Year’s Day, unless January 1 falls on Sunday. It is usually held on Mondays, January 2. According to the Tournament of Roses Association’s Web site, this no Sunday policy was established “to prevent frightening the hoses tied outside of local churches and interfering in worship services.”
To avoid clashing with National Football League, the Rose Bowl Parade and Rose Bowl Game have never been held on Sundays.
New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions date back to the Babylonians, whose most be love resolution was to return their borrow farm equipment. People make Happy New Year’s Resolutions to spend more time with their love ones, stop smoking, drink, or both, get fitter and more financially free, learn something new, help others, and enjoy life more.
Resolutions To A More Historically Aware New Year
Spend more time with family and friends, past and present. Set a goal to work on your family tree or to research one ancestor in enough detail to tell a story about their lives.
Stop Smoking, Drinking, or Combining Both. Spend an hour researching tobacco’s history and finding out if it was Captain John Smith, John Rolfe, or Native Americans who brought it to the colonists. Another hour can be spent researching Prohibition stories from your local area.
Get Fit or out of Debt. Spend an hour researching the history of gymnasiums and the Titanic’s. You can take a look online at Thomas Jefferson’s debt, and how it affect Monticello.
Discover something new. Discover one fact about the historical category you choose and consider how it can be connected to today’s history.
Help others. Tell the story of a historical helper to someone else. There are many historical examples of people who have helped. Clara Barton, Albert Schweitzer, Raoul Wallenberg, Eleanor Roosevelt are just a few.
Enjoy Life More. To stop being a “temporal provincial”, as Michael Crichton use it in his 1999 historical novel, “Timeline”, is to enjoy life more.