Well it is New Year again, 2014 has officially begun. The bells have chimed and the festivities have ended, all that’s left is to do is make those New Year resolutions. We all strive to commit to are self-improving resolutions but unfortunately, more often than not, fail miserably at by mid-January. So here’s my question. Why do we do these traditions? Who actually knows the vast historical importance of this time of year? This is what I want to explore today, New Year’s day 2014.
The New Year’s celebrations began 2000 B.C. in ancient Babylonia, but back then they celebrated it at the logical time of the end of March. This was the perfect time as winter was over and spring was beginning, new life was forming and crops were planted for the year. It was only in 153 B.C. when the Roman Senate declared New Year to be on the 1st January, mainly to correct the calendar to sync with the sun. Also the month of January was named after the roman god Janus who had two faces, one looking back at the year just gone and one looking at the year ahead.
New Year’s resolutions tradition is as old as the New Year holiday itself, as the Babylonians would make the popular resolution of returning farming equipment. The Romans also made a popular resolution of bringing forgiveness to their enemy’s.
There are lots of customs for this time of year, different countries celebrate in thousands of different ways. For example Greece bake a cake with gold or silver in, the person who eats the piece with in in is said to be lucky all year. In the Netherlands the Dutch make a bonfire in the streets out of their old Christmas trees to signify purging the old year and welcoming in the new. In Scotland it is tradition to visit neighbors at the stroke of midnight to wish them a Happy New Year, it is also considered good luck if this person was a tall dark and handsome man! In Spain they eat twelve grapes at midnight to bring twelve months of happiness. There are many more which I could mention but I would probably still be here next New Year writing them.
All in all it is clear New Year’s Eve has been a highly regarded holiday around the world for centuries and brings hope and happiness to many. So no matter how you celebrated this year you know you have engaged in a historical, worldwide tradition.
Happy new year everyone, let’s see what 2014 brings us all!