New Year's Eve
Five, four, three, two, one... Happy New Year! Each December 31st, we gather with friends and family to usher in the new year - but how did these traditions begin? Get the goods right here!
The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all modern holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4,000 years ago. In the years around 2,000 BC, Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year on what is now March 23rd, although they had no written calendar. March is actually a good time to celebrate a new year because spring begins and new crops are planted. The Romans' calendar was tampered with by so many emperors that it became out of sync with the sun. In 153 BC the Roman senate declared January 1st to be the beginning of the new year.
Traditions of this holiday usually include making a New Year's resolution, which dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions include promising to clean your bedroom regularly or trying not to pick on your little sis/bro so much. The early Babylonians' most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.
Celebrations Around the World
- Turkey: New Year's celebrations begin on December 31st. Most people have a special dinner with family and friends. It should be no surprise that people in Turkey prepare a turkey feast. Homes are sometimes decorated with pine, but generally decorations aren't used.
- Venezuela: People usually wear yellow underwear on New Year's Day for good luck. Most people also eat 12 grapes at midnight for good luck. Some people write wishes in a letter and then burn it. In almost every house, people have a big meal and make toasts with champagne.
- Colombia: Burning "Mr. Old Year" is a New Year's tradition in some cities of Colombia. A big male doll stuffed with unwanted materials and sometimes fireworks is set on fire. These things will burn with the old year, meaning they want to forget all the bad things that happened during the past year.
Have Your Say:
How do you count down to the New Year? Let us know by leaving your comment below!