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New Year’s Day, which according to the Gregorian calendar falls on January 1, is one of the most popular occasions around the globe. People throughout the world usually celebrate this day with loved ones and often in large gatherings. Be it a New Year’s Eve party or a picnic on the first day of the year, people have their own way welcoming the New Year. Mostly around the world, the celebrations on January 1, is the culmination of the festivities that include Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For those of you think it’s a modern day tradition and does not have any religious connotation, you are wrong. In many parts of the world, the festivity is not non-religious and this holiday even has deep spiritual roots.
Romans celebrated with a gala six-day of carousing. It is said that St Boniface, a missionary from England who visited Rome in 742, was appalled at how they celebrated Kalends of January, as the New Year was called then. In fact, many historic writings suggest these celebrations were quite opulent and laden with profanity.
But mostly, New Year means a fresh start, forgetting the bad memories, moving ahead and starting things on a positive note. In many parts of the world, people even let go of used items and furniture or even jump into freezing cold water to emerge out with a clean slate!
Like in Ecuador, people make effigies with straw, to represent the events of the past year known as ‘ano viejo’. These are burned at midnight, symbolically to get rid of the past. According to English folklore, people must not sweep their homes on New Year as it might sweep away all the good luck! And of course the most romantic of all tradition–a midnight kiss on New Year also has an underlying significance and just some filmy ritual. It actually means that your relationship will flourish and be happier during the coming year.
According to some ancient civilisations and some cultural beliefs, it is also a time for re-birth. It is believed that the days between Winter Solstice and the New Year are magical when anything is possible.
Wish You a very happy and prosperous New Year