Why New Year’s Day always celebrated on January 1st?
Our modern celebration of New Year’s Day stems from an ancient Roman custom, the feast of the Roman god Janus the god of doorways and new beginnings.
The name for the month of January also comes from Janus, who was depicted as having two faces. One face of Janus looked back into the past and the other peered forward to the future.
Many New Year customs that we take for granted actually date from ancient times. This year, ring out the old and ring in the new with a New Year tradition—or two!
In ancient Thailand, guns were fired on New Year’s Day to frighten off demons, and in China firecrackers routed the forces of darkness to go somewhere else.
Did you know eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a donut) symbolize “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune?
One of my favorite traditions that I celebrate comes from Spain, where at the stroke of midnight you eat 12 grapes representing the 12 months giving you good luck throughout the New Year.
Twelve grapes are eaten at midnight, each grape symbolizing a different month. If your grapes are very sweet, then it means that specific month will also be sweet and pleasant. If your grapes turn out sour, then you know the month will also be sour, so hope that the grapes are sweet!
In Scotland, the custom of first-footing is an important part of the celebration of Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve Day.
This practice holds that the first foot to cross a threshold after midnight will predict the next year’s fortune.
If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year, because white butterflies symbolize angels.
Italian people welcome the New Year in an extremely interesting way, by tossing old things out of their windows! Old things are tossed out in an effort to make room for the new and lucky to enter their households and lives in the year to come.
The Italian people eat a traditional New Year dish called cotechino con lenticchie: pork sausage served over lentils. This New Year food is eaten because of the presence of fatty rich pork sausage and lentils in it. Cotechino sausage is a symbol of abundance because they are rich in fat; while lentils symbolize money (being both green and coin shaped). This New Year food promises double-packs of luck!
However what you eat or drink, can’t guarantee a successful New Year.
What does is believing in yourself, with that added spice of thinking positive and overlooking any silly ritual that doesn’t fortify your desire to keep on trying, because our mistakes define us to be better person, because starting over is half the fun, of having successful New Year!
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell