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New Years’ Celebrations and Resolutions

Updated on January 1, 2014

Fireworks on New Year's Eve


Resolutions: How Do You Feel?

Many people have definite feelings about New Years’ celebrations and resolutions. New Years' Eve has been celebrated throughout the ages, but making resolutions or commitments to change began as a tradition along the way. There are those who feel that picking out a day of the year to start a new habit or correct, change, or do away with an old one is an excuse to procrastinate. If you want to lose weight, start today, not some day two weeks from now. Putting off changes to improve life until New Years’ Day may just be a way to forget it or change your mind.

Then there are those that would say why make a change in your life when 9 out of 10 times the change will not become a permanent part of your life. What about the one time that you accomplish that goal? The one resolution that does improve a life might also inspire others to greater feats in the future or an improvement in life for those around you. For example, if someone does quit smoking it can have long term effects both financially and physically for the person who gives up cigarettes as well as those that don’t want to be recipients of second hand smoke?

There are arguments for and against making New Year’s resolutions, but either way, making a resolution is a personal matter. Sometime we want to share our goals and get a friend to help keep us on track. Others may want to keep the resolution a secret in case the resolution proves to be unworkable, at least for the present. There is nothing worse than someone telling you that they knew it couldn’t be done or the goal wouldn't be reached. There are always haters.

Julian Calendar and A New Year.

Where does the celebration of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day originate? The Western World has Julius Caesar to thank for the day we celebrate. He updated the calendar and tried to make it more precise which included the time of year the modern world celebrates, although earlier civilizations had astrological signs and changes in nature, such as the flooding of the Nile River in Egypt to thank for their celebrations. The New Year’s celebration of Julius Caesar had ties to Roman gods and these celebrations continue to be link with those celebrations. For example, the external decorations we now use as part of our Christmas celebration. There were decorations that flanked the door and gifts to be given. The early Christian church tried to distance itself from these practices and began to concentrate on the significance of Christmas as the time of Christ’s birth. The decorations of the Romans continue to be part of our celebrations throughout the world,

Current Celebrations

Samoa is the first place in the world where New Year’s is celebrated each year. The world dances, drinks, and celebrates with fireworks. These are all ways to usher in the New Year. In the United States, the crystal ball is dropped at Time Square. Many other U.S. cities have instituted their own take on this such as the peach drop in Atlanta, GA. Often the old year is symbolized by an old man and the New Year is symbolized by a baby. A baby throughout history has been looked on as a new beginning.

The modern Western world celebrates The New Year starting on Dec. 31st. New Years’ Eve begins the celebration and carries over to New Year’s Day. New Year’s Day is the day we celebrate. Businesses are closed that day to allow employees to spend time with family and friends, watching ball games, or just resting from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Celebrations Around the World

In Japan, New Year’s celebrations last several days. Businesses close and quiet time is spent with family eating many tradition dishes. Usually a trip to a Buddhist shrine is included where the priests ring bells 108 times beginning at midnight and continues into the New Year. Often children received gift of money from relatives, games are played, and elaborate TV shows are produced featuring popular singers and entertainers. New Year greeting cards are also sent to relatives and friends.

In China, the New Year’s Calendar is associated with 12 animals. The season is marked by the phases of the moon rather than a particular date. 2013 was the year of the snake where 2014 will be the year of the horse. A dragon is paraded through the streets and people throw firecrackers to keep the dragon awake.

Other nations celebrate a new year in different months. Vietnam celebrates the New Year in February while Iran celebrates a new year in March. The one thing that you will find universal is the celebration of a new year, a new beginning, and a chance to be together with friends or to celebrate one’s religion or thankfulness to the natural order of things that gives one hope for a better new year. So, resolutions or no resolutions, we continue to find a reason to celebrate and sometimes make changes in ourselves, physically or spiritually. Have a happy and prosperous new year!

Drinking Bubbling Champagne
Drinking Bubbling Champagne
Dropping of the Ball in Times Square
Dropping of the Ball in Times Square

Do you plan on making a New Year's Resolution this year?

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    • Ky Cardinal profile image

      Ky Cardinal 3 years ago from Louisville, Ky

      That's one way to be successful!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      I resolve not to drink any absinthe this year. Since I didn't drink any last year, my resolution is pretty safe.