But here I am, just a few days before my deadline, searching my mind for something unique to contribute. Then I thought about traditions in general, and how they come about.
So naturally, I turned to the Internet, and here’s a site I found, with some tidbits:
“Celebrating the arrival of the New Year is perhaps the oldest holiday in recorded history. It started with the ancient Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago, and continued with the Egyptians, Romans, Celts and so on. Here are some other quick facts about New Year’s traditions and their origins:
“January 1. January 1st officially became the first day of a new year in 46 B.C. when Julius Caesar established the Julian calendar.
“New Year’s resolutions. The ancient Babylonians began the idea of New Year’s resolutions as a way to start the year off with a clean slate by returning borrowed items.
“Baby New Year. Using a baby to represent the birth of the New Year started in ancient Greece in 600 B.C.
“Black-eyed peas & cabbage. Some say the black-eyed pea’s lucky streak dates back to the pharaohs. Others say it started in Vicksburg, Virginia, during the Civil War when the town ran out of food while under siege and the inhabitants were lucky enough to discover cow peas (a.k.a., black-eyed peas). Meanwhile, cabbage leaves (a symbol of prosperity) are thought to bring prosperity to those who eat them on New Year’s Day.”
My own history with New Year’s began in my childhood, and I recall that there was a church service in which the members shared in a religious tradition of “foot-washing.” E-gads, you say. I was a bit squeamish about it, too. But I think the point was to humble oneself and start anew in the upcoming year.
Much later…roll ahead to my young adulthood, and New Year’s was all about partying. Drinking a lot, firecrackers tossed about in the streets, and rowdy behavior. And lots of kissing of assorted individuals—sometimes with unpleasant consequences.
I won’t even begin to describe some of the experiences! LOL.
These days, my New Year’s celebrations consist of watching lots of movies, reading a good book or two, and then tuning in to Dick Clark for the countdown, right about the same time that I open my Champagne splits. That probably sounds boring to some of you, and a few years ago, it would have seemed that way to me.
And on New Year’s Day, I reflect on the past year and consider what alterations I might make in the year to come. Knowing that those unrealistic resolutions will likely result in disappointment, I don’t make them anymore. Maybe it’s enough to think about what I’ve learned in the past year and try not to make the same mistakes this year.
At any rate, I hope that the New Year will bring multiple blessings for all who might read this…and for those who are not anywhere near my limited “sphere” in the Universe.