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The History of New Years
We all celebrate New Years Day and new Years EveNew Years' Day is a time to relax and enjoy the start of a bright and promising new year. To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City signals the start of the new year in this country. The ball was first dropped in 1908.

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  after the Vernal Equinox, which is the 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.

During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years, declaring it was a pagan holiday. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.

New Years Superstitions:
What to Eat to Bring Good Luck:
  • Black-eyed peas and lentils eaten on New Year’s Day are said to bring riches and safety to the coming year.
  • Eat 12 grapes, one grape for each month of the year, for prosperity.
  • Eating pork on New Year’s Day is lucky because pigs eat moving forward. Therefore, those who eat pork will move forward in the coming year.
What to Wear to Bring Good Luck:
  • Wear something new on January 1st. It encourages more new clothing to follow.
  • Wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve to bring luck.
  • Wear red clothing on New Year’s Day.
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New Years' Day is a time to relax and enjoy the start of a bright and promising new year. To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City signals the start of the new year in this country. The ball was first dropped in 1908.
Starts: 01/01/2014 12:00AM
Ends: 2014-01-02:00.000 Duration: 23:59
United States