Dec 27, 2013
A Brief History Of New Year's Celebrations
For many in the US, the quintessential New Year's celebration is the dropping of the ball in New York's Times Square, an American tradition dating back to 1904. However, it may surprise some to learn that celebrating the "new year" is a much older, human tradition that has taken - and continues to take - many forms.
Ancient Babylon - The Festival Of Akitu
Julius Caesar Makes New Year's Day January 1st
In 1582, Caesar's selection of January 1st was carried over into the "Gregorian calendar," the calendar in use today in much of the world. After the fall of the Roman Empire, but prior to 1582, celebrations of the "new year" occurred at different times throughout Medieval Europe.
Chinese New Year
Different Cultures, Different Traditions
In addition to different times when the New Year is celebrated, different cultures throughout the world celebrate it in unique ways. In Spain, for example, instead of Champagne, revelers eat 12 grapes in the seconds before midnight. Similarly, in Greece, people eat ring-shaped cakes with coins baked inside.
You can learn more about the history and traditions associated with New Year celebrations by watching these informative videos from History.com, here and here.