Santa has made his exhausted way back to the North Pole, and you’ve barely cleaned up the torn up Christmas wrap when it’s already time to start thinking about New Year’s celebrating. New Year’s Eve is the big follow-up party to Christmas and has traditionally been a time to welcome in the New Year with varying levels of festivities. Many will be turning their eyes to New York City’s Times Square to watch the giant, brilliantly lit ball that incrementally falls on New Year’s Eve. Others will be closer to home, perhaps watching fireworks, drinking champagne, blowing into various noisemakers and looking for that special New Year’s Eve kiss. But the real question is--why? Have you ever thought about the origins of some of these crazy New Year’s traditions?
Resolutions. Everyone needs a fresh start now and then, right? The beginning of a brand new year has become the traditional time for goal setting and starting anew. Although many people will set New Year’s resolutions--few people will actually keep them--in fact, most of these resolutions will be abandoned in short order.
Toast. Almost every culture has a tradition akin to toasting or pledging to something with a beverage-filled glass. The idea of clinking glasses may have come from an old Christian custom that believed that the "ding" sound made by the clanging of the glass would ward off evil spirits. These days it is most common to drink to health, prosperity and good fortune. Beginning the New Year with a toast seems particularly appropriate!
Fireworks. Before there was even a small notion about dropping a shimmering ball in Times Square, actual fireworks were set off in New York City on New Year’s Eve. When the fireworks became outlawed in 1904, city officials came up with the idea of a giant illuminated ball dropping down a pole instead. A tradition was born! Fireworks are frequently still a part of New Year’s celebrations throughout the world. Ancient legends taught that the loud booms and fiery blazes of the fireworks frightened off any evil spirits that may be carrying bad luck with them, while at the same time opening the door wide for a very Happy New Year, indeed.
New Year’s Kiss. It’s tradition to kiss a loved one at midnight on New Year’s Eve--but do you know why? Not only is it good luck (and just plain fun) to share a kiss with your beau, but tradition also says that if you don’t kiss someone at midnight, you may have a year filled with melancholy and loneliness. New Year’s kissing is also another mechanism that is thought to ward off any evil spirits that may be lurking.
Auld Lang Syne. The song entitled Auld Lang Syne wistfully sings a very old Scottish poem that recalls the love and kindness from “old long ago.” Singing this traditional song at midnight is thought to bring a feeling of fellowship and good will into the New Year.
Happy New Year from your friends at Halloween Express!