A Few Interesting Facts About New Year Celebrations
There are so many festivals celebrated around the world. But if there is one festival that has grown to be a celebration beyond traditions, one that brings people together then it is definitely the New Year’s Eve. We all love to leave the old behind and give things a new start. How much ever we might fear change, we all have that innate enthusiasm to start fresh. And hat better than the New Year to start something fresh! Today New Year’s Eve is celebrated in plenty of ways and this is one day people are ready to leave behind all their differences and come together to welcome a new year.
A little into the history- after all, who would not want to know how it all began!
When you get to know the history behind the New Year celebrations you are definitely going to enjoy this New Year’s a little more. And, not to forget, you also get a few quick facts to boast in front of your friends! So here is a peek into a little fun history, the stories behind the origin of New Year’s.
From the BC’s!
Did you know that the New Year celebrations trend dates back to the BC’s. The celebrations were held in the middle of March which is the time that was called the vernal equinox during the Mesopotamian period. Well, March was the first month of the ten months calendar that was followed back then! Later there were a few that started celebrating this festival on January after the month of January and February were added to the calendar. In the year 567 AD, January 1 was officially announced as the beginning of New Year.
Auld Lang Syne
Have you been singing Auld Lang Syne without knowing the significance of the song? Not anymore! This was a song written by Robert Burns, way back in 1788. This Scottish rhyme talks about the ‘days gone by’ and reminds us not to forget old acquaintances. It is a song that celebrates the past and reminds us to remember the memories it gave us.
Times Square ball drop tradition
This is one thing that most people can relate to when we talk about New Year celebrations. The first ever ball drop at the Times Square was held in 1904. Since then this tradition has been followed religiously and people gather at the Times Square to witness the iconic ball drop, in large crowds.
It is not just you that takes resolutions
Taking resolutions might be the one thing that we all have a love-hate relationship with, among the many New Year’s traditions. We all have our little list of resolutions many of which we religiously follow, at least for a few days after the celebrations. But what we do as a fun little activity has a rich history behind it. On the first day of each new year, the Babylonians had made resolutions to the gods. These were promises of repaying debts. And then once January came into existence, the Romans paid respect to god Janus. If you refresh history there have been several such religious reasons behind the framing of resolutions during the New Year celebrations. These were mainly oaths taken that the mistakes of the past would not be repeated. Altruistic decisions were major parts of the resolutions of most people in the past. They made promises of being good and doing well for the fellow human beings.
So now that you have learned a little history, how about knowing some quirky facts about how this day is celebrated around the world? You would be surprised at how the same day is perceived in so many different ways by so many different traditions. Almost everywhere there is a party, there are drinks, there is music and there are oodles and oodles of love being shared. We have picked here only those quirky traditions that might totally blow your mind away!
Throw water and drive the evil away
Puerto Rico has a tradition of throwing a bucket of water out through their windows during the New Year’s. This is a symbol of expelling the evil. Along with this, there is also great food at the table and there are large gatherings to welcome the new year. Do try the tembleque, and pastels if you ever visit Puerto Rico during the New Year’s.
Burn the dolls!
There is a tradition of burning old dolls in several parts of South America. In Cuba, there are life-sized dolls dressed up and burnt on the streets. During the New Year’s celebrations. The tradition which was banned in 1959 in Cuba, is now being taken up again. This again is one way that the locals believe that the past is burnt and a new beginning is created. Ecuador residents burn scarecrows as a part of the celebrations.
Pack a dozen Spanish grapes
In Spain, there is the tradition of eating precisely 12 grapes during the New Year’s. Eating 12 grapes at the beginning of the new year is believed to bring good luck for the year ahead. This has been a tradition that has been followed across Spain since the early 1900’s. The handpicked 12 grapes are reserved for the strike of the midnight chimes. For each bell that rung at 12 one grape is eaten.
Ring the bell 108 times
The Japanese did have a different date for the celebration of New Years. But from the 1870’s they have been celebrating it on January 1, along with the rest of the world. Eating mochi or rice cakes is one thing that is very popular on New Year’s day. But besides that, there is one other religious tradition. According to the Buddhists, there are 108 total human sins. To mark them all, and to take an oath to get rid of all of them the bells in the Buddhist temples are rung 108 times on the midnight of December 31st. While we stick with parties, drinks, and cakes, it is surprising how people around the world do so many such interesting things on the New Year’s day.