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Do You Know Where New Year’s Comes From?


Did you know that New Year celebrations aren’t new? Many of the traditions we celebrate started long ago. In fact, the earliest recorded festivities in honor of a New Year's arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon.

I thought you might be interested in some interesting facts about New Year’s.

  • Celebrating the first baby of the New Year has been a symbol of the holiday since around 600 B.C., starting in ancient Greece when an infant was paraded around in a basket in celebration of Dionysus, the god of fertility (and wine). The baby represents a rebirth.

  • The Roman king Numa Pompilius, during his reign (c. 715–673 BCE), revised the Roman republican calendar so that January replaced March as the first month of the year. Then, in 1752, the Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar, changing the formula for calculating leap years. The beginning of the legal new year was moved from March 25 to January 1.

  • It’s generally believed that the reason January is called January is that the month was named for the Roman god Janus, but it's actually rooted in the Latin word "ianua," which means door. The name was chosen to symbolize the opening of a new door that happens when the new year begins.

  • The ancient Romans are credited with the kissing tradition because of their Saturnalia festival. It was a celebration honoring Saturn, the god of time, where all social norms went out the window. Many of the celebrations influenced the Christmas and New Year's festivities that became the focus when Christianity took over the Roman Empire. Kissing someone at midnight is said to come from the idea that doing so will prevent loneliness during the coming year and ward off evil spirits.

  • The guy credited with Auld Lang Syne didn't fully write it. Robert Burns took a Scottish folk song called "Old Long Syne" and put his own spin on it in 1788, which is the version we all know today. Auld lang syne means "times long past." The song was made famous in America by Canadian bandleader Guy Lombardo in the late 1920s.

  • Americans drink around 360 million glasses of sparkling wine on New Year's. Corks can fly out of the bottle at a speed of 25 miles per hour, so it's best to open bottles at a 45-degree angle (away from yourself and others).

  • The most common resolution people make is to get healthier. Each year, it is estimated that 80 percent of New Year's resolutions are abandoned by February.

Now, how about some possible New Year’s resolutions?

You could start with:

I am going to drink more and gain weight.

—I doubt that one would be on your list. 

Or, I will lose 50 pounds in the next 30 days.  

A good New Year’s resolution is to not make a resolution.


My resolution is to complete my New Year's resolution from 1986.


I resolve not to do a damn thing ...."


A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. Another resolution is to see my cup half-full, preferably with rumginvodka, or moonshine.


I made a New Year's resolution to stop procrastinating, but I'm going to wait until next year to start.

My New Year's resolution was to drop my bad habits, but no one likes a quitter. No one.

You can have some fun with your resolutions. Even have a contest—which one will die first.


Here’s what’s important:

  • Any resolution should be realistic and desired.

  • It's important that you set achievable goals.

That’s all for now folks. I’ll be blogging weekly. Sometimes seriously. Sometimes humorously. Sometimes hopefully. And sometimes, interesting.

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.



Frank Victoria is an award-winning author and screenwriter. He’s been an Amazon bestseller with his recent book, The Founders’ Plot, a political thriller for our times. He donates proceeds of his books to Tunnels to Towers and Fisher House, helping military veterans and first responders. His novella, The Ultimate Bet is available on his website and Amazon. Check out his new website: Frank M. Victoria

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