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As the New Year knocks at our doors, there is a few interesting facts about the first day of the calendar year
Interesting New Year Facts
- New Year is the oldest of all holidays, as it was first observed in ancient Babylon as many as 4000 years ago.
- The Roman senate declared January 1 as the New Year in 153 BC. Though even this date saw major tampering, it was Julius Caesar who again declared January 1 in Julian calendar as the New Year, in 46 BC.
- The first month of the year, January has been named after God Janus (Latin word for door), in the Roman calendar. Janus is the God with two faces, one looking backwards and one forward, at the same time and marks the ‘spirit of the opening’
- The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Eve, by giving one another branches from sacred trees, for good fortune.
- January 1 was revived as New Year in 1582, by the Gregorian calendar and so celebrated by most of the countries till date.
- In Britain, when the Big Ben clocks strikes 12, everyone gathers around to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, a Scottish song. It was written by Robert Burns in the 1700′s, literally meaning “old long ago,” or simply, “the good old days”, to remember old and new friends.
- Many cultures believe that anything given or taken on New Year, in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle”.
- Many parts of the U.S. celebrate New Year by consuming black-eyed peas and other legumes, as it has been considered good luck in many cultures.
- The tradition of making New Year resolution dates back to the early Babylonians.
- The Spanish ritual on New Year’s eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight. The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.