with Michael Lum

NEW YEAR’S EVE…Facts and Traditions




Did you know that Julius Caesar was the first

 to set January 1st as the New year?

Caesar did so when he established the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, decreed that the new year would occur on January 1st. Caesar wanted the year to begin in January since it celebrated the beginning of the civil year and the festival of the god of gates and, eventually, the god of all beginnings, Janus, after whom January was named.

New Year’s Resolutions:

The tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions also dates back to the ancient Babylonians. Their most common resolution was to return used farm equipment.

Did you know that “losing weight” is the most common New Year’s resolution?

More than sixty percent of adult Americans are overweight and the number of overweight children has more than tripled since 1980.

Did you know that “Auld Lang Syne” was written in the 1700′s?

It was written by Robert Burns in Scotland, as a song of remembrance and reflection. The traditional New Year’s song, played on New Year’s Eve at the strike of midnight, was published in 1796 after Burns’ death. “Auld Lang Syne” is Scottish for “old long ago”.

Baby New Year Tradition

Tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started by ancient Greeks around 600 B.C. They would carry a baby around in a basket to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.

Burning “Mr. Old Year”

In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico

families stuff a life-size male doll with things that have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member. At the stroke of midnight, this ‘Mr. Old Year’ is set on fire.

Eating Noodles

Late on the evening of December 3 1, people of Japan would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called “toshikoshisoba” (“year-crossing noodles”)

and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.

Wearing new slippers In China,

many people wear in the new year a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you.

and of course Fireworks

White Clothes

In Brazil most people wear white clothes on New Year’s Eve

to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow.

Gifts in Shoes

In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside

on New Year’s Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece)

with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness,

will come and fill their shoes with gifts.

The Tournament of Roses

The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers.

It celebrated the ripening of the orange crop in California,

and continues today as the most watched parade in the world …



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