There’s always been an inherent symbolism to the New Year’s concept. We celebrate the past and the future as we move from one year to another. We now know that New Year celebrations have evolved and some of our traditions have interesting origins. As we approach the end of what is widely considered to be a terrible year, it’s a great time to reflect on the history of our New Year.
Celebrations and festivals marking the start of the calendar are a tradition that has been going on for thousands of years. The earliest documented festivity dates back to ancient Babylon, which is 4,000 years ago. These celebrations were sometimes linked to astronomical or agricultural events.
The ancient Celts believed that fire was the best way to start a new year, since light and life spring from darkness and death. It was believed that smoke could ward off evil spirits. The year in Egypt began with the annual flooding of the Nile. The Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice. The first day of the Chinese New Year was marked by the second new moon following the winter solstice.
The Poem Is Often Associated With Robert Burns, A Scottish Poet
The New Year was not celebrated in January in Rome until 153 BC. It would take almost 2,000 years for Britain to do the same. Janus was partly honored by the New Year is celebrated in January. Janus could look at the past and the future simultaneously. This allowed him to use both two faces.
Romans celebrated by offering Janus sacrifices in hopes of good fortune for the New Year. They decorated their homes with laurel leaves and exchanged well wishes with each other.
The celebrations that were held in conjunction with the New Year in medieval Europe were considered unchristian and pagan. In 567 AD, the Council of Tours abolished the date of 1 January and replaced it with dates more significant to the faith, such as 25 December or 25 March. Pope Gregory created the Gregorian calendar in 1572 to provide a more consistent approach to Easter. It established 1 January as New Year’s Day.
During The March New Year Celebration, Citizens Made Resolutions.
Catholic countries were aboard, but Britain, at that time a Protestant nation, stayed on the board until 1752, when it switched to trading purposes. The New Year was celebrated in March by the British Empire and American colonies before this.
As the year winds down, you might find yourself trying to learn ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which is supposedly one of the most famous songs that no one actually knows the lyrics to. Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, is often associated with this poem. He recorded it on paper in 1788. Burns claimed that he had transcribed the words of an old man singing. However, the song is actually a folk song with nostalgic lyrics that perfectly capture the feeling of the transition. Its status as a New Years’ song comes from 1929 when Guy Lombardo’s orchestra performed it in a New York hotel.
You might consider setting a New Year’s Resolution. This tradition is rooted in Ancient Babylonia where citizens made their resolutions at the New Year’s festival in March. These resolutions weren’t for self-improvement. They were required to swear to the sitting King, which was essential to preserve the kingdom’s favor with the gods.
The New Year’s Traditions Vary From One Country To Another.
Similar to the Romans, the Romans swear an oath of loyalty to the Emperor. In the 1740s, renewal services were held by the Methodist church on 31 December. This gave people the opportunity to reflect back on the year and renew their commitments to God.
The traditions of the New Year vary from one country to another. Brazil considers it unlucky to consume chicken within the first 30 minutes of the new year. This is because chickens scratch the earth backward and eating poultry would mean going backward in your life. Italians are expected to save some wine grapes from their harvest for New Year’s Eve. This means that they will be financially smart and frugal. Spanish people have a similar tradition with grapes. In the first 12 seconds before the new year, you eat 12 grapes. This symbolizes 12 lucky months ahead. You’ll be blessed with good fortune all year if you eat all 12 grapes before the 12th toll on a famous clock tower.
Because it is a time when there are many superstitions and traditions surrounding New Year, these beliefs offer some comfort and reassurance. No matter what you do, wherever you go, may your customs and traditions bring you a happy new year!