Happy New Year Beavers! Now that Christmas is over and we’re getting closer to 2018, we’re all thinking about starting our new year off with a bang. To give you an idea about where the New Year’s tradition came from, and some statistics and numbers about the celebration itself, I decided to write a post.
First, we’ll learn about where the holiday originated from. Ringing in the new year goes way back to 4,000 years ago when the Babylonians celebrated it at the first full moon after the spring equinox. The ancient Egyptian year began with the annual flooding of the Nile. Julius Caesar made January first the official first day of the year in 46 B.C., but England and many American colonies didn’t do so until the year 1752.
Second, different countries celebrate the new year in many different ways. For example, the signature foods that people eat on this day have a very wide range of variety. In Italy, Germany, Ireland and the Southern United States, the main dish is legumes and leafy greens, meaning financial fortune. In Cuba, Austria, Hungary and Portugal, the food they eat is pork, meaning progress in the days or months to come. In the Netherlands, Mexico and Greece, the food is ring-shaped pastries symbolizing that the year has come full circle. And lastly, in Japan, the citizens eat long noodles in hopes of long lives.
As well as foods, different places also have different events to celebrate the beginning of a new year. For example, originating in 1890, the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California features floats made with 18 million flowers. At the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, 10,000 people march through the city and perform in costumes. London, England brings in the new year with fireworks over the Thames. In 2012, the Olympic Games extra-large display consisted of 12,000 individual fireworks. In Australia, over one million people go to Sydney Harbor’s 40 mile shoreline to watch a firework show.
Here in America, a million people go to New York City to watch the ball drop, and close to 1 BILLION people watch the event on television. The famous ball is twelve feet in diameter 2,688 crystals, 32,000 LED lights, and weighs 11, 875 pounds. At midnight, 2,000 pounds of confetti fall on the crowd in Times Square. 44% of American adults plan to kiss sometime when the clock strikes midnight, 61% say a prayer on New Year’s Eve, and 22% fall asleep before midnight arrives.
The most common new year’s resolutions that Americans make are to: lose weight, get organized, spend less money, save more money, stay healthy, and quit smoking.
To all the Beavers here at our school, I hope the new year brings you many blessings that have yet to occur in your life, and I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season. HAPPY NEW YEAR!