Happy New Year!

NYEBigBall.jpgIt’s New Year’s Day 2006! And the Rose Parade isn’t on TV! Wonder why? Well, it turns out it’s due to a very old tradition that dates back to the early days of the parade, which started in 1890. In 1893, the parade fell on a Sunday and officials decided to move it to Monday January 2 so as not to startle the horses tethered outside local Pasadena churches. You can read all about the history of the Rose Parade here.
New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve abound with traditions, it turns out. Here’s a biggy: New Year’s resolutions! They date back to ancient Babylon. Back in those days it was celebrated not on January 1 but on the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring. Here’s one that I hadn’t heard of before: Hogmanay. A lot of our more common New Year’s Eve traditions seem to stem from this ancient celebration, such as the lighting of fireworks and the singing of Robert Burns’ tune Auld Lang Syne. Another tradition is the dropping of the crystal ball in Times Square, which has been happening in some fashion since 1907. Other cities have joined in the tradition of dropping something at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
However you celebrate, have a happy and safe New Year!