The New Year: A Worldwide Celebration

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The New Year: A Worldwide Celebration

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Madeleine G., Off Campus

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New Year’s day is one of the oldest holidays in history still celebrated today. There are many elements to this worldwide holiday such as fireworks when the clocks strike midnight, people thinking of ways to improve their lives, loved ones gathering, and traditional celebrations. The nature of the holiday has also changed over time from the ancient Babylonians to Julius Caesar. New Years is an enjoyable holiday that everyone gets excited about because of the celebrations and New Year’s resolutions. Therefore, people have a new, fresh start in their lives.

The New Year is an ancient celebration. It started thousands of years ago with the Ancient Babylonians. The original festival lasted eleven days and it started on the first day of spring. In those days, many cultures also used the sun and moon cycle to determine the first day of the year. Years later, Julius Caesar invented the Julian Calendar, which claimed that the New Year should be on January 1st. It was not until 1852 when when Pope Gregory XII invented the Gregorian calendar, which still has January 1st as the first day of the year and is still used today, stating that the Julian calendar was not quite accurate.

The content of the celebration has varied as well. Early celebrations celebrated Earth’s cycles with a theme of nature. However, Christian tradition today celebrates the feast marking Christ’s presentation at the temple on New Year’s Day while Roman Catholics often celebrate the Solemnity of Mary. In the twentieth century, the holiday grew into its own celebration. Therefore, it has become a holiday associated with personal relationships rather than being associated with religion. However, many people still follow older religious traditions.

While celebrations vary all over the world, common traditions today include parades, such as London’s New Year’s Day Parade, meeting with family, and New Year’s resolutions (ways to improve one’s life in the year). Most people enjoy at least some aspect of this annual event. St. Robert student Mercedes says, “I like staying up until midnight.” Many people do that because when the clock strikes 12 am, the new year begins. Another student, Mara, claims, “I like spending time with family.” That is also a common tradition, so people can wish each other Happy New Year.

The start of New Year’s Day at midnight is celebrated with fireworks, parties, and special events, which are often televised. For many people, New Year’s Day is a recovery from the celebrations of the previous night. In some towns and cities, parades are held and special college football games are played. Another big part of the holiday is the birth of the first baby in the New Year. The event is celebrated with people presenting gifts to the baby’s parents. The news of the baby’s birth makes appearances in local newspapers and on news networks.

In conclusion, people can benefit very much from New Year’s because like any holiday the day brings joy from gatherings of loved one, spectacular fireworks, and a new, fresh start to life.

 

References

“New Year’s Day- The History, Traditions, and Customs of New Year’s Day.” Wilstar,

Wilstar, 2018, wildstar.com/holidays/new year.htm

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