New Year’s Party Invitations, New Years Eve Invitations, Happy New Year’s Invitations, New Year Celebrations

The greeting, “Happy New Year!” is always heard during the first couple of weeks of a New Year. But, you might be surprised to know that the day celebrated as New Year’s Day in the U.S. was not always January 1st. It is said that the celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays, and was first observed about 4000 years ago in ancient Babylon. The Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon after the first day of spring, the most logical time to start a New Year. It is the season of planting new crops, of rebirth and of blossoming. Since January 1st has no astronomical or agricultural significance, it is purely arbitrary.


New Year celebration of the Babylonian lasted 11 days, and each day had its own particular mode of New Year celebration. The Romans also observe the New Year in late March, but various emperors continually tampered with their annual calendar so that the calendar soon became out of synch with the sun. To set the calendar back on track, in 153 BC, the Roman senate declared January 1st as the beginning of the New Year. But tampering with the calendar continued until 46 BC, when Julius Caesar established what is known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1st 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.


The Catholic Church condemned the New Years festivities as paganism, even though the Romans celebrated the New Year in the first centuries AD. As Christianity became more popular, the church began its own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations just like the New Year’s Day celebrations.


The making of New Year’s resolutions is considered to be the biggest tradition for New Years, and it dates back to the early Babylonians. Today’s popular New Year resolutions include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking, but the early Babylonian’s popular New Year resolutions was to return borrowed farm equipment. The New Year’s tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was begun in Greece around 600 BC, when they celebrated their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Ancient Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth for New Years.


Although early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to re-evaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the New Year with a baby, which symbolized the birth of the baby Jesus. The Germans, who had used the effigy since the 14th century, brought the use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the New Year to America.


Many people celebrate the first few minutes of a New Year with friends and family since it is believed that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year. New Years parties often last into the early morning hours after the ringing in of the New Year. Tradition has it that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year.


The type of food eaten on New Year’s Day can bring good luck. The Dutch believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle,” completing a new year’s cycle. Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the New Year by eating black-eyed peas, accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. The hog is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another “good luck” food that is consumed on New Year’s Day. Cabbage leaves are considered a sign of prosperity, and rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year’s Day.

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