• 61°
Hartselle Enquirer

Rounding up New Year’s traditions

Ready for some New Year’s trivia?
The start of the new year has always been on Jan. 1. It wasn’t until 46 B. C. when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that more accurately reflected the seasons that Jan. 1 became the start of the new year.
The Romans named the first month after Janus, the god of beginnings and of entrances.
Janus is depicted as having two faces on facing forward and the other backward. He could look forward to the new year and reflect over the old one.
However, this calendar wasn’t perfect and by 1582 it was about 10 days off, so Pope Gregory XIII reformed the Julian Ca-lendar to what we have today.
However, during the Middle Ages Christians actually celebrated New Year’s Day on March 25. Ancient Babylonians celebrated New Years Day on March 23 although they had no written calendar.
Even today not all cultures celebrate New Years on the same day; for example the Chinese use a lunar calendar and celebrate New Years sometime between Jan. 1 and Feb. 17.
Jewish people celebrate two New Years and Hindu people celebrate four New Years at the beginning of each of the four seasons. The people of Iran celebrate the new year for 13 days in spring.
There are many and varied traditions all over the world to that are meant to celebrate the new year and bring good luck.
The New Year is Scotland is called Hogmanay.
They take barrels of tar and set them on fire and roll them down the street in villages across the country. (No, I don’t make this stuff up!)
The idea of the symbolizing the New Year as a baby started about 600 B. C. by the ancient Greeks. They would carry a baby around in a basket to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility.
In Greece, children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Years Day in hopes that Saint Basil who was known for his kindness will come and fill their shoes with gifts. In Greece this is known as the Festival of Saint Basil.
Many cultures believe that eating certain foods on New Year’s Day will bring good luck.
The Dutch, for example, eat donuts for that very reason.
The hog and its meat and cabbage are considered lucky in many cultures. In the United States, hog jowls or ham and black eyed peas are considered to be lucky.
There is one tradition that is of American origin. It began in 1907 and is now viewed by over one million people. Can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a hint. It is spherical and the first one weighed more than 700 pounds and was 5-ft. in diameter. It was made of iron and wood and had over 100 25-watt light bulbs.
It is the Ball Lowering Ceremony in Times Square.
I hope you have a very blessed New Year!

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Priceville students design art for SRO’s police car 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Scott Stadthagen confirmed to University of West Alabama Board of Trustees 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle plans five major paving projects for 2024 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Future walking trail dubbed ‘Hartselle Hart Walk’ promotes heart health, downtown exploration 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Chiropractor accused of poisoning wife asks judge to recuse himself 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle seniors get early acceptance into pharmacy school  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Farmers market to open Saturday for 2024 season

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Challenger Matthew Frost unseats longtime Morgan Commissioner Don Stisher

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Cheers to 50 years  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Scott Stadthagen confirmed to University of West Alabama Board of Trustees 

Editor's picks

Hartselle graduate creates product for amputees 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Tigers roar in Athens soccer win

Danville

Local family raises Autism awareness through dirt racing  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Three Hartselle students named National Merit finalists  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan chief deputy graduates from FBI National Academy

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle students collect food for good cause 

Falkville

Falkville to hold town-wide yard sale next month

At a Glance

Danville man dies after vehicle leaves Hudson Memorial Bridge 

Editor's picks

Clif Knight, former Hartselle mayor, Enquirer writer, dies at 88

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Utilities reminds community April is safe digging month 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Teen powerhouse invited to compete in international strongman event

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Azaleas: An Alabama beauty 

Decatur

Master Gardeners plant sale returns in April

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan leaders honored at annual banquet

x