Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did you know that it was not until 1752...

that the British and American colonies adopted the newly reformed Gregorian calendar that made January 1, offically the start of the new year?

With the New year upon us, I thought I would check out the history of traditions around the world on this day of starting afresh a brand new year.

In 1796, Robert Burns poem, "Auld Lang Syne" was first published (Scots Musical Museum) based on lyrics he had heard an old man singing. But it was not until an historic night in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Your City on New Years Eve, that the song was destined to become a New Years traditon. Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians from that night on, played the tune on New Years Eve until 1976 at the famous Waldorf Astoria. It was said once that no one would believe it was the New Year unless Lombardo's rendition of the song was played.

In Spain: tradtion is to eat twelve grapes at midnight, symbolizing good fortune for the next twelve months.

In the Netherlands: they use their Christmas trees to light bonfires and launch fireworks to drive the out the old and bring in the new.

In Greece; the tradtion of baking a St Basil's Cake and hiding a gold or silver coin inside assures the finder of having a "lucky" new year!

In Scotland: a celebration called "Hogmanay" or "first-footing" is practised still. Just after midnight, it is tradtion to visit your neighbor and offer good wishes for the new year, bringing along a piece of coal for the fire or shortbread as a gift.

Even better it is if a tall, dark, and handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year!

How about this guy? My inspiration for DESIRE made flesh, in an upcoming anthology based on the festival of Samhain.)

What are YOUR New Year's Eve traditions? Do you head down to Times Square? Love to get glammed up and go out on the town? Maybe you prefer a night with an intimate dinner and dancing afterwards?
Give us the scoop!



Charlotte Featherstone said...

As the product of Scottish parents, the first footing of Hogmanay (Gaelic for New Year) is VERY important. Where my parents are from,the first 'footer' MUST be a dark haired male. My husband is the only dark haired member of my family. We're all either red or blonde. Now, poor hubby has to be the first over the threshold at our house and my parents, and he must bring with him a bottle of Scotch or whiskey so that you may be never thirsty throughout the year, and a piece of coal or log so that your home will always be warm.
My mum will greet you at the door to let you know that the first footer has not stepped through and you're 'nay, welcome at the moment'! lol! If a woman is the first footer, God help us!!! lol!

I don't know what we're going to do when his hair turns grey....
Great post Amanda, and cool pic, too!

Kristina Cook said...

Back in ye olden times (aka, before we had kids) we usually did something fun in Manhattan for New Years--but NEVER standing in Times Square (it's always unbelievably cold on New Year's and no way am I getting near those crowds!).

But since the kids came along, we've always hosted New Year's at our house--a sit-down, formal dinner for about 5 couples (plus kids), champagne, etc. (it was actually easier when the kids were babies).

But as of this year, we're handing over our host/hostess reins to another couple, and letting them do the honors. I, for one, am SO relieved!!

Karin Tabke said...

Happy New Year, LIT ladies, and LCM!

Traditionally we go to a party, this year is no exception. But I'd really rather stay home...

Amanda McIntyre said...

Have to agree, Karin, I enjoy being at home. We used to do parties, but after the twins, it just seemed to make sense to be home. Now we invite our family over for dinner, a movie or we play games.

I would have loved to, just once, done a party at the Waldorf! Can you imagine!!

Then again, I do kind of like this tradition of bringing Scotch whiskey around ;) hum....

Safe partying and travel to all New Years Eve.

Ghost Writers Friend said...

Our Christmas was subdued and nothing spectacular, which was fine with me. We were snowed in with over one foot of the white stuff, and we had lights strewn obliquely along our main tree outside, the one with the ducks under it. And we had Xmas dinner across the street with my first husband's older daughter running the show. We only had to stomp across the way, no driving needed, and we enjoyed the best honey glazed and juicy ham that I have ever tasted.

Mele mele kaleekha maka
Kaka heeka! Which means:
Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!
in Hawaiian of course. Mahalo!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Ghost Writers Friend, thanks for stopping by!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Ghost Writer,snowed in? In Hawaii?
Is that unusual or fairly normal in the higher elevations?

At least you did't have far to go to enjoy the day with family, that's wonderful!

What traditions are there in Hawaii to ring in the new year?


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