Holidays Calendar : Happy New Years
On the modern Gregorian calendar New Year's Day is the first day of
the year. it is celebrated on January 1. 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).
New Year Traditions
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.
The Church's View Of New Year Celebrations
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.
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