The new year is a time of new beginnings and goals. It’s a time when we remember our past accomplishments and moments, and create a plan to move forward in our careers and personal lives. We do this through celebrations, actions, and traditions that are personal and relevant to us.
The earliest New Year’s tradition dates back to the times of Babylon. The History Channel website states that the first new moon following the vernal equinox was the start of their new year, and it was celebrated with a religious festival called the Akitu. During this eleven day celebration, rituals were conducted, and a new king was sometimes crowned. In Rome, when Julius Cesar introduced the Julian calendar, he made January 1 the first of the year to honor Janus, a Roman god of beginnings. Janus had two faces that allowed him to look into the past and the future. The Romans celebrated with large parties, rituals, and the exchanging of gifts. Today, many societies celebrate the new year with traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation.
How do you celebrate your new year? Everyone has their own style. Here are twelve historical traditions from around the world that may help to usher in your new future and prosperity.
• Eat a plate of donuts or ring shaped cakes. Ring shapes are considered good luck because they symbolize “coming full circle”.
• Bolt down a dozen grapes symbolizing hopes for the New Year.
• Enjoy a pork dinner. Pigs represent progress and prosperity.
• Partake in a dinner of lentils. Lentils represent future financial success.
• Create resolutions for the new year. Listing future goals represents the desire to start off the year on the right foot.
• Toast to the new year with friends. Toasting with friends and neighbors signifies cohesiveness and group prosperity.
• Sing Auld Lang Syne. It symbolizes endings and new beginnings.
• Launch a boat decorated with flowers. Many types of flowers represent renewal and hope.
• Give a New Year’s gift as a sign of friendship and good luck.
• Create servings of rice pudding with one that contains an almond. The one that finds the almond has good luck for twelve months.
Whatever your way of celebrating, have a healthy and happy new year!