What is it that makes the holidays so special?  How did each holiday come to be?  Eventually the ultimate decider has been our government and churches for religious holidays..The holiday’s I would like to focus on are Christmas and New Years Eve/New Years.  

In my previous post, we learned that Christmas was started with the purpose of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. If you’re like me, you’re going crazy trying to remember who you need to send holiday cards to, and you feel overwhelmed.  It is a struggle with Thanksgiving falling so late this year, to get everything done in a timely manner.  If you’re not careful, Christmas  becomes about gifts and other things that have no significance to the birth of Jesus Christ.  

Never lose sight of the reason Christmas was created.   Let’s take a look at what New Years Eve means to us.  It is a special holiday to me signifying the magic of romance.  I realize you’re bringing in the New Year, but there is a feeling in the air of love and the celebration of it.  

How did the holiday, New Years come to be?  The earliest celebrations of New Year’s Day has been celebrated since 4,000 Years before Babylon.  However, since we go by the Gregorian Calendar, the date is different.  The Babylonians, celebrated the first moon following the Vernal Equinox which is the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness.  This was how they marked their beginning of the New Year.  They marked this occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring.  The celebration involved a different ritual on each of the 11 days it lasted.  In addition, the year was longer by 90 extra Dayton the year 46 B.C. when he introduced his new Julian Calendared.

However, it was Caesar who ultimately dubbed January 1, as New Year’s Day.  Let’s talk celebrations!  In many countries celebrations begin on December 1, and continue into the early hours of New Year’s Day.  People often enjoy specific foods and snacks thought to bring good luck throughout the New Year.  Legumes, which are thought to resembles coins and herald future financial success;  Examples include legumes in many parts of the world such as Italy and black-eyed peas in the south.  Because pigs represent progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the celebration menu in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and other countries.  Ring-shaped cakes and pastries, a sign the year has come full circle, round out the feast in the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and elsewhere.  In Sweden and Norway, rice pudding with an almond hidden inside is served on New Years Eve;  it is said that whoever finds the nut can expect 12 years of good fortune.

Remember that holidays have significant meaning and this is our History.  It does matter, because our history is how we arrived to where we are today.  Many customs and traditions will be covered throughout this Holiday season.  I can’t wait to share them with you!!  Thanks so much for reading!

Samantha Leboeuf/DWW


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