Issue #3: Happy New Years
January 21, 2011 • Alysia Garvalena, Student Life
Filed under Print Issue Extras
“5! 4! 3! 2! 1! Happy New Years!” On the last day of every year, people around the world count down the seconds until the new year begins. In the United States, this occurs on Dec. 31.
Many people in the United States pop the cork of a champagne bottle or eat a piece of cake, or even share a kiss to signify the start of a new year. Many people watch the fireworks, either in person or on TV.
Many people also believe that what you did as the new year began affects the luck of the year to come. All across the country, it is believed that eating black-eyed peas as the new year starts is considered good luck, along with eating pork. Years ago it was also believed that the first person to arrive at your home signified your luck for the year. If a tall, dark-haired man was the first person to arrive at your home, it meant that you would have great luck for the rest of the year.
Every year in New York City, millions of people gather to watch the huge Times Square Ball drop as the New Years Day begins. This tradition started in 1905 when Adolph Ochs initiated a huge celebration for New Years Eve in New York City. The celebration was so huge that over 200,000 people came. There was not a Times Square Ball then, only fireworks.
“Auld Lane Syne” is often the song played during New Years festivities. Written in the 1700s and composed by Robert Burns, the song was not published until 96 years later. “Auld Lane Syne” is translated to “the good old days.” The song signifies old friendships and is sung to remember the good times of the previous year. Lots of times, people will join hands in a circle and sing the song and then do a traditional dance during the last verse. People are to cross their arms across their chests, still holding hands with their neighbor, and then turn around while untwisting their arms so that everyone’s backs face the center of the circle.
Around the world, nearly every continent celebrates its own start to a New Year. In the U.S., people make a commitment or begin a project to reform or change something in their lives, which traditionally begins on New Year’s Day. This is called a New Year’s Resolution. Some examples of the resolutions would be to quit smoking, quit drinking, work out more or even to be less grumpy.
All around the world, each culture has its different traditions for the start of a new year. In the United States, we have our wacky ideas on what will make our year better and what will give us good luck.Share