Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

New year comments greetings, new year cards, happy new year wishes, animate scraps

The yellow leaves, bare trees, morning chill, all signify just one thing now - New Year is on its way again! Soon, the air will be filled with greetings of "Happy New Year" all around the world. New Year is a widely celebrated holiday around the world. People, young and old, look forward to this occasion with equal anticipation, eagerness and excitement. It is one of the oldest celebrated holidays in the world and people celebrate this day in the grandest of ways, splurging on shopping and food royally. The day is marked with a shining optimism for the rest of the year."Happy New Year!" That greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way. But the day celebrated as New Year's Day in modern America was not always January 1.

New Year History  
The New Year is one of the oldest festivals of the world, dating back to the pre historic era. The New Year History itself forms an extensive area of study. The history of New Year has undergone a series of changes over the ages to achieve its global form. The urge of celebrating New Year as a vibrant festivity emerged at the dawn of civilization. At present, New Year is celebrated on January 1 and it had been an essential part of the cultural and traditional practices of the different communities inhabiting the world. This had been the practice for the last few centuries but the New Year History had its root to yet far off times. Therefore, this is the principal reason that the New Year traditions vary from country to country.

The earliest instance of New Year is found in Mesopotamian culture. It was about 2000 BC, when the people of Babylon used to observe New Year celebrations on the day of the Vernal Equinox that is during the middle of March. It was the Romans, who recognized March 1 as New Year Day in their calendar. At that time there were only ten calendar months beginning from March. The relevance of this fact can still be seen in the names of some months, which were been set according to their respective sequences in the calendar. As in the calendar of the present time the months from September to December are placed as the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth months respectively, previously they were positioned as the seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth months. In Latin, 'Septem' means, seven, 'Octo' means, eight, 'Novem' means, ninth and 'Decem' means ten.

The Roman calendar also passed through an array of rectifications. The calendar was attributed with the months of January and February in 153 BC, by Numa Pontilius, the second Roman king. Thus the festival of New Year got shifted to the month of January for the first time, although people carried on observing New Year on March 1 for quite a long time after that.

This is still not the end of the New Year History. Several new calendars were been devised. Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar which was created based on the solar system whereas the previous calendar were based on the lunar cycle. The Christianity has added up new meaning to the New Year Celebration by lionizing the Christmas Day, the Annunciation Day and The Easter as New Year Day at various times. There had also been times when January 1 had been abolished to be celebrated as New Year altogether.

It was in the Gregorian calendar established by Pope Gregory XII , New Year was firmly positioned on January 1. It was readily accepted by the Catholics and then by the Protestants and soon became a holiday recognized by the entire world slowly and steadily.


The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible cresent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.

The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.
The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.

In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.

Although in the first centuries AD the Romans continued celebrating the new year, the early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began having its own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Year's Day was no different. New Years is still observed as the Feast of Christ's Circumcision by some denominations
During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.

New Year celebrations are done globally and each country prides in observing the traditions of their culture. Some people feel New Year brings good luck and some pray for prosperity.

 Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year's resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. The early Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

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.

Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the Tournament of Roses in 1902, it was replaced by Roman chariot races the following year. In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival.

 The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.

Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the Germans. They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century.

Traditions of New Year around the Globe

China - The Chinese New Year is known as "Yuan Tan". Among all the other New Year traditions around the World, the Chinese celebrations are very famous and colorful.

The traditional Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and it may fall between January 1 and February 19. The Chinese New Year celebrations last for 10-15 days. Some of the different ways to express joy is by playing drums, setting off fireworks and beating the cymbals. The Chinese believe that it wades off the evil sprits and brings fortune. People exchange red envelopes with gold coins in it as a symbol of good luck.

Denmark - It is pretty surprising but, it is very auspicious to find the door heaped with pile of broken dishes on New Year in Denmark. Throughout the year people save all the old dishes and then throw them at the entrance of the homes on the New Year eve. It is believed that the number of broken dishes you have, that many friends you have which is considered very auspicious.

In most of the parts of Scandinavian countries, New Year celebrations are done with great joy and preparation. There are many Danish cuisines which served on the New Year party eve. Kale, is among the favorite dishes which is served with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon with white sauce.

African - American - The New Year is very commonly referred as - Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was announced which was abolition of slavery and it was read in Boston.

With the change in time the way of observing the New Year day changed. In the present time, 'watch services' are held in most of the African- American churches. Most of the traditions are associated with food that includes, serving of ham hocks, collard greens, black eyes peas and macaroni with cheese. Benne wafers are presented to all the near and dear ones which symbolize money, future prosperity and fortune.

Greece - January 1st is the most important date in the history of Greece. The day is not only observed as New Year but, also as St Basil's Day. The Greek Orthodox churches considered St Basil as one of the forefathers.

Special New Year bread is baked by all the family members. A coin is buried in the dough which is considered very auspicious.

Greeks celebrate the New Year with great pomp and show. They share traditional sweet bread with everyone. The coin brings good luck and fortune for the year.


 Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.

 Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune. 

Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. 


 The song, "Auld Lang Syne," playing in the background, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days." The lyrics can be found here.


While the date of regional New Year celebrations varies in different countries of the world, the first day on the Gregorian calendar i.e. January 1 is celebrated as the New Year almost throughout the globe. Another contemporary practice that has developed over the years is celebrating the New Year's Eve, which falls on December 31st, a day before New Year. It is basically celebrated to commemorate the by-gone year and usher in the New Year with optimism and faith. People indulge in partying with family and friends and there are splendid displays of fireworks at the stroke of midnight and will induce the New year Activities to start with a blast.

Every New Year brings along a fresh stock of new days that inspire us to tread on new paths, to explore life in a fresh manner and to add to our lives what we missed in the previous year. As soon as the clock strikes midnight, the corks of champagne bottles are popped up and jolly sounds of New Year Wishes are in the air and it  takes you through the same festive entourage that is filled with enthusiasm and mirth. The moment the New Year Countdown begins, everyone experiences the adrenaline rush deep inside because of the excitement. It is the moment when we look back to the happy days and pray for more such moments to enlighten our lives. In order to make this moment a perfect one you need to be well prepared.

Wishing everyone and feasting in a grand manner marks the beginning of New Year. It's an occasion to enjoy and spread well-being all around, as it marks fresh beginnings and new outlooks. It is a day to make resolutions, which are followed by an attempt to stick to them throughout the year. New Year 2010 will be an event to watch out for. Since it is falling on a Friday, the weekend to follow will surely see some great festivities. There will be extravagance and grandeur all around as ever. Splendor will be the key word as the whole world gets united yet again, to usher in the New Year in style.

This day is not just any religious or regional festival it's a national event now. Enjoy the New Year and retain all the traditional values of your culture. Wish you all very Happy New Year!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your valuable comments