According to History.com, New Year’s Day was first celebrated on January 1st in 45 B.C. as the Julian calendar took effect. Julius Caesar decided that the traditional Roman calendar needed reform and with the advice of Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer, he replaced the lunar cycle to follow the solar year. Thus, making this the “New Year”.
Due to Caesar and Sosigenes miscalculating the correct value of the solar year, celebration of New Year’s Day fell out of practice during the Middle Ages. An error of 11 minutes quickly added seven days by the year 1000 and 10 days by the mid-15th century. The Roman church became aware of this problem and sometime during the 1570’s Pope Gregory XIII entrusted Jesuit astronomer Christopher Clavius to develop a new calendar. It was in 1582 that the Gregorian calendar was implemented and since then people all over the world have gathered together on January 1st to celebrate the arrival of the New Year.
CNN.com lists some interesting facts about New Years. The first rooftop celebration, a firework display, atop One Times Square took place in 1904. It was produced by The New York Times to inaugurate their new headquarters located in Times Square along with celebrating the renaming of Longacre Square to Times Square. On December 31, 1907 the first ball dropping celebration was held atop One Times Square. As a result of wartime dimout, the ball lowering was suspended in 1942 and 1943. However, the crowds gathering in Times Square celebrated with a minute of silence followed by chimes ringing out from an amplifier truck parked at One Times Square. Made of iron and wood, the original New Year’s Eve Ball weighed in at 700 pounds, was five feet in diameter and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs. A new ball for New Year’s Eve was introduced on November 11, 2008. This ball was a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter and weighed 11,875 pounds. It was built to withstand high winds and fluctuating temperatures. Waterford Crystal introduces a different pattern for each New Year’s celebration.
Typically, people in our area spend New Year’s Eve with friends or family. They may spend it at home watching the ball drop, at the bar, or at someone’s house. Food and drinks are generally included in the celebration along with music. Sometimes people wear masks or hats depending on where they are. As the New Year rings in people make lots of noise and in some cases, there are fireworks and not just the ones that from a kiss at midnight. If a kiss isn't shared, lots of people toast with a drink.
For many people, the start of a new year represents a moment of transition. It is seen as an opportunity to reflect on the past and to look ahead to what the future may have in store. It is also a time when people evaluate what they have done during the year and what they would like to change in the upcoming year. People commonly make New Year’s Resolutions which include weight loss accounting for 25% of all resolutions, exercise, smoking cessation, quitting drinking, seeking a new career, becoming debt free, saving money, eating healthier, better organization, spending more time with family, better stress management, enjoying life to the fullest, to stop procrastinating, traveling, improving relationships, and many more. Whatever the resolution people choose to make it isn’t one that needs to wait until the start of a new year. Changes can be made at any point of the year and at any time of our lives. The key component to making change happen is truly wanting it to happen and staying committed to it. Of course, there are things beyond our control, but the choices made shape our future and it is ours to make the way we would like it to be. Always remember that you are capable of anything that you set your mind to! Happy New Year, may 2019 bring you all much happiness and the fulfillment of all your goals.