Monday, 31 December 2007

New Year´s Eve

Hello!! Merry Chrismas!! In these notable dates, I decided to write this post about New Year's Eve because I think that everybody celebrates this incredible night surrounded of their family and friends, but really few people know the real history about New Year´s Eve, his antiquity, traditions, typical things of this festivity ... so I decided in this occasion to "talk" about this topic, with the purpose of that we all know little more of this so notable night. I hope that you like this post and to wish all you a happy New Year 2008.

"The New Year is an event that happens when a culture celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of the next. The date in which this celebration is realized depends on the type of calendar used, being most used of January 1st, date according to the Gregorian calendar used in the majority of the countries of the world.

Actually, the celebration of New Year is one of the principal celebrations in the world. Big events are realized in the principal cities of the world during the New Year's Eve (eve of the New Year corresponding to December 31st), being accompanied of the biggest events of pyrotechnics. The biggest events of the world are produced on Sydney, Hong Kong, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Valparaiso.Also, a lot of discotheques realizes big New Year´s parties."

Ancient New Years

The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible cresent) after the Vernal Equinox (the first day of spring).
The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year, because it´s the season of, planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1st, hasn´t astronomical or agricultural meaning.
The Babylonian New Year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had his own particular mode of celebration, but the modern New Year's Eve festivities aren´t the same that those celebrations.
The Romans continued to celebrate the New Year in late March, but their calendar had continually changes by various emperors so that, the calendar soon was synchronizated with the sun.

In order their calendar, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1st to be the beginning of the New Year. This calendar continue with Julius Caesar in 46 BC, that established that their calendar had to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1st as the New Year. But to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to allow that the year should last 445 days.

The Church´s view of New Year celebrations

Although in the first centuries the Romans continued celebrating the New Year, the Catholic Church of the epoch condemned the festivities as paganisms. But as Christianity became more extense, the Church began having his own religious observances related with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Year's Day was not different. New Years is still observed as the Celebration of Christ's Circumcision by some denominations.
During the Middle Ages, the Church was opposed to celebrating New Years.

New Year traditions

Other traditions of this celebration include the making of New Year's resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. The Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.
Although the Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to think about his position. The Church finally allowed his members to celebrate the New Year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

For luck in the New Year

Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for people to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. These parties often last into the middle of the night after the rings of the bells that announce the New Year.
It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man. This belief about the good luck is realized usually in Scotland.
Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.
Many places of the U.S.A. celebrate the New Year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either pork jowls or ham.(These legume give the name to a popular music group). Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The pork and his meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many people. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.
Auld Lang Syne

The song, "Auld Lang Syne," playing like background music, is sung at the midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.It was written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Robert Burns' death. A lot of variations of the song were sung before of 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

Auld Lang Syne (letter)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne
We twa hae run about the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine meaning: pulled daisies
But we've wander'd mony a weary fitt : foot
Sin' auld lang syne. : long ago
We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine meaning: dinner time
But seas between us braid hae roar'd : broad
Sin' auld lang syne.
And there's a hand, my trusty feire
And gie's a hand o' thine
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught
For auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp
And surely I'll be mine
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Here you could learn to sign a part of this tradicional song:

If you want to listen the "Auld Lang Syne", click on the links that appear here:

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