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Ring out the old, Ring in the new

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New YearYet another year is coming to an end. In many places around the world, New Year’s celebrations begin on December 31 and continue into the early hours of January 1. Before we ring in 2020, let’s get some facts about New Year’s Day.

New Year wasn’t always celebrated on January 1. The earliest New Year festivities date back about 4,000 years ago. At that time, the people of ancient Babylon began their New Year in March. They would have an 11-day festival to celebrate the beginning of spring and the fact that crops were being planted for the coming year.

The calendar that we use today, which is known as the Gregorian calendar, was introduced 437 years ago by Pope Gregory XIII in the year, 1582. He declared once and for all that January 1 should be New Year’s Day. And since that time, people have been celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1.

Many of us make resolutions for the coming year. We promise ourselves that we’ll do something differently or better after January 1, whether it is quitting a bad habit or getting better grades in school. But where did we get this idea of making resolutions for the New Year?  It is believed that the ancient Babylonians were the first ones to make New Year’s resolutions. They made promises to begin the year off right and to earn the approval of their gods.

On New Year’s Eve, in some places, a figure resembling an old man is made. The figure signifies all that should be dispensed with, such as evil thoughts, bad behaviour, and so on. The figure stands on a road or in lanes and passersby often drop money into the box that is kept beside it. The effigy is set on fire at the stroke of midnight. The burning of the effigy signifies the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one. The money collected is used for partying by the people who have made the effigy. Most of us have forgotten that the New Year is not only a time for revelry but also for reflection.

Everybody looks forward to begin a new year with great fun and enjoyment and wish that the year ahead brings them in, all goods. I too celebrate this great day with all the blast that I can.

Two days before the New Year could begin, we start our preparations. We clean our house, get things in order and buy crackers to burst them at midnight.

On New Year’s Eve, we enjoy ourselves to the maximum by playing practical jokes on others. So much of fun is involved that we totally forget the passing time. New Year is a time when many people around the world make promises; however, many of the promises made by people are rarely completed.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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