Category Archives: New Year’s

How to thrive in 2023 (despite the chaos of 2022)

Last year presented us with plenty of challenges:

  • Russia invaded Ukraine in February, causing so…many…problems.
  • The Tripledemic Plus (RSV + Flu + Covid + a scary form of strep throat) sickened kids and adults, filling ER rooms and hospitals.
  • Inflation and supply chain woes raised the cost of gasoline and food.
  • Sharply escalating crime rates, including school shootings.
  • Decreased academic performance among school-age students.
  • And the list goes on…

But you have more power than you may realize. Here are some ways we might be able to cope with these and new challenges in the coming year.

Experts say that in 2023, perhaps as it begins, a recession is likely. During a recession, people spend less and the economy slows down. Typically, there are layoffs.

  • Create an emergency fund to cover expenses if your source of income is impacted.
  • Always pay the rent or housing costs — never be late on those in a recession. If you need to, you can ask for more time to pay off other kinds of debts or make smaller payments, especially for medical bills, and you can economize on your other expenses, like food and clothing.
  • If you pay child support and you lose your job, never skip a child support payment. If you can’t pay the full amount, pay what you can, even if it is only $20. But as soon as you can, petition the court for a change of circumstances and get a new payment schedule rain writing. If you skip child support payments, you could lose visitation or custody rights. Some people who did not pay child support have even lost parental rights in Virginia.
  • Interest rates will likely go down in a recession. The good news is that you may be able to negotiate for a lower rate on your credit card.
  • At least make the minimum payment on credit card debt if that is all you can manage (and don’t put any expenses on the credit card). Don’t miss a payment; call first and see if you can work at an alternative payment plan. Reduce your reliance on credit.

Recession-proof your job. Employers lay off workers, especially hourly workers, in a recession. Or your hours may be cut.

  • Your job may be at increased risk if you work in retail, hospitality, restaurants or the travel industry. If you are laid off or your hours are cut, obtain a letter from HR stating that you were not let go “for cause,” in other words, because of anything you did. File for unemployment if you are laid off or if your hours are cut but you are still working.
  • This may be good time to change jobs to increase your wages or salary. You’ll usually get more of a pay increase with a job change than if you asked for a raise at your current job, and there may be more benefits. If you think layoffs may be coming to your workplace, you might start applying discreetly to hedge your bets. The trade-off is that if there are then layoffs at your new workplace, you may be targeted to go first, as a new employee.
  • An alternative strategy, if you love your job, is to be more visible in the workplace and find ways to show your value. For example, in a survey, 60% of managers said that remote workers would be the first to be cut — see what I mean? Less visible is perceived as less valuable.
  • Some brave souls start a business during the recession or begin work as contractors for their former employers. That works for some.
  • Traditionally, “recession-proof” jobs and industries include health care, pet care, utilities, skilled trades, grocery stores and teaching.
  • If you run your own business, examine if a recession will impact your client base. For example, if you have one point of contact at a company, you may want to expand your contacts. You may work with contractors who go out of business. Keep on top of your accounts receivable in case any of your clients declare bankruptcy.

Rising crime rates. Never was our personal safety more in focus than in 2022. Violent crime increased, burglaries increased, automobile theft increased and school shootings increased. How can we have a safer 2023?

  • Invest in relatively affordable home security measures, such as locks, doorbell cameras (e.g., Ring). More than 30% of burglars walk right in through the front door! Half of burglars break into a home through a first floor window or back door. Reinforce glass-paned doors with security bars. Remove items outside of your home that could be used to access your home’s exterior windows and doors. When you leave your home, leave a television or radio on (according to jailed criminals, this simple move deters thieves).
  • Park your car in a well-lighted parking lot or locked garage. Car thefts are up. In this area, Hondas and Toyotas get stolen the most frequently. Invest in inexpensive theft-prevention devices, such as steering wheel locks, GPS tracking devices and devices that will disable your car in the event of theft. NEVER leave your car idling and unattended.
  • Discuss school safety measures with your children’s school’s administrator or PTA. Talk to your children about bullying and discuss what to do if they are bullied (or they are the one bullying). Become involved in your child’s school; attend events or volunteer.

Declining academic achievement in schools. Students are experiencing historic declines in achievement in math and reading; teacher absenteeism and behavior issues are also on the rise. To help your child do his or her best…

  • Enroll your child in band or orchestra at school. These students learn persistence and self-discipline. Studies show these are the students who do best in school and later in life.
  • Assign homework. A daily half hour of skills practice with a workbook increases confidence, as well as grades.
  • Visit the library together on the same day, once a week to get ne
  • Have your child participate in a regular group activity such as scouts, volunteering, chess club or regular attendance at a house of worship.
  • Foster your child’s friendships with other children who do well academically and read or study. Guide them to associate with others who have a positive, helpful attitude.

High cost housing market. There are fewer houses on the market, and housing prices are increasing. Rents are way up. Mortgage rates are increasing.

  • Some people prefer to buy a home during a recession. However, home prices have not declined in this area.
  • This may not be the ideal time to buy a house but it may be a good time to sell your home (but only if you can find another home you can afford).
  • Instead of moving, make your current home your dream home with inexpensive upgrades, such as repairs, decluttering, painting interiors and lawn and garden maintenance.

High cost automobile market. The inventory for cars is relatively lower and car prices are increasing.

  • This may not be the best time to buy a car but expect to get top dollar for your used car.
  • Extend the life of your used car by keeping up with routine auto maintenance.
  • If you want a reliable car that is not costly to repair, pick a Honda or Toyota.
  • To avoid accidents and possible damage to your car (and increased insurance rates), park away from other vehicles in parking lots and avoid high-speed routes where there tend to be collisions.

Increasing food prices. Gas prices did go down by the end of 2022, but food prices just kept going up. In a recession, those food prices won’t go down. How can you save on food expenses?

  • Eat at home and prepare your own food. Plan your errands so you are at home for meal times, so you aren’t tempted to buy fast food or eat in a restaurant, especially if you have kids. Keep a granola bar in your purse or in the car to tide you over until you get home.
  • Make eating at home more fun than eating out by involving the kids (if you have them) in meal preparation and creating fun meal days, like Taco Night, Spaghetti Night, Breakfast for Dinner, etc. I babysit kids and I can attest that making pizza together is more fun than ordering takeout pizza!
  • Take your lunch to work.
  • Affordable foods include eggs, rolled oats, frozen mixed vegetables, brown rice and beans. You can save a lot on prepackaged yogurt by buying a large container of plain yogurt and adding your own mix-ins. It takes about 30 cents to make a cup of coffee at home.

You probably knew all this but maybe there was a tip or two that you hadn’t tried yet. Best wishes to you for a prosperous and better New Year in 2023!

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A New Year’s Eve Supply Kit

Celebrating New Year’s Eve at home this year? There are lots of good reasons for that. I had planned to go to a New Year’s celebration but I’ve got a cough now and I think I’d better stay home this year. If you are planning to stay home, here are some ideas to make a memorable evening.

1 Decide how you would like to celebrate…
  • Does a solitary night of self care and quiet reflection sound wonderful?
  • Or celebrate with family or friends?
  • Talking or texting loved ones and friends?
  • Dressing up or dressing down?
  • Turn in early? Or stay up until Midnight and watch the ball drop?
    • Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, hosted by Ryan Secrest, airs on ABC starting at 8 p.m. It will stream live on YouTube TV, Hulu + TV, Fubo TV and DirectTV Stream.
  • Fancy home-cooked dinner, snack tray or takeout? Fondue?
  • S’mores around the fire pit outside and make wishes on the stars?
  • Watch a movie? My favorites…
  • Play music…radio stations often play countdowns.
  • Or play games? Here are some free New Year’s coloring pages from Crayola.
2 For the shopping cart…
  • A 2023 calendar or planner (or print one out online).
  • Sparkling apple cider, sparkling wine, champagne, seltzer, soda or sparkling mineral water.
  • A New Year’s cake is fun… or you could make one with the kids. My son and I used to do that every year.
  • Bath and Body Works Champagne Toast fragrance mist, body wash and or body lotion. It smells like champagne with berries. I bought the trial size.
  • Glade Champagne Cheers (small candle, about $4 in grocery stores). This candle really does smell like Champagne!
  • New Year’s paper snack plates and cocktail napkins (also at the grocery store).
  • Munchies! Crackers, cheese, veggies, dip, cut up fruit, a cake or any snack/dessert to make you feel festive.
  • Traditional foods you eat on January 1 (such as pork and sauerkraut or black eyed peas and collard greens).
3 Tidy up and decorate your home or space.
  • Put up some Christmas string lights and borrow some tinsel garland from your Christmas decorations. Or make a New Year’s wreath.
  • Make your own decorations and 2023 sign.
  • Or visit a party store for confetti, streamers, poppers, balloons and New Year novelties.
4 Take some time to remember the highlights of the year and also departed loved ones.
  • Review your social media timeline or planner to remember and reflect on events of 2022.
  • Post an optimistic Happy New Year greeting to your Facebook friends.
  • Make a gratitude list about 2022 — the highlights, the lessons.
  • Display framed photos of your departed loved ones. My cousin put out a little table on Christmas with some pictures of my mom and votive candles. That meant a lot to me.
5 Spiritually connect with the spirit of hope that a new year brings.
  • Write your 2023 resolutions…or not! Or make a vision board. There are resolutions activity ideas and downloadable papers for writing down goals online (e.g., on Pinterest).
  • Pick a word of the year for yourself.
  • Read your 2023 Horoscope. There are many out there but the most comprehensive one that is online and free that I have found so far is Cafe Astrology. Be sure to read the Overview and the Love horoscopes for your sign (and maybe rising sign). The Love one has a lot of information besides romance. Cafe Astrology’s personal horoscope reports are also very reasonable in price.
  • Read your Tarot cards with a New Year’s spread. Or visit Lotus Tarot for a free online reading.
  • Make a wish for peace or pray for peace in the world.
  • Make a donation, caring gesture or ritual of some kind that is personally meaningful to you.
  • Ground and center yourself with meditation. Here is a guided New Year’s meditation to try.

Do you have plans? I hope you have a great night. Happy Almost New Year’s Eve!

 

Rom Com of the Week: New Year’s Eve

How was your Christmas? I hope it was special for you.

Did you know that today is Call a Friend Day? I hope you can make time to call someone who might be feeling a little lonely.

Hey, how are your resolutions going? You still have time to set some great goals for 2023. Have you bought your 2023 calendar yet?

And now…time to get ready for New Year’s! I love this holiday. What I really like about it is the glamor and fun and the feeling like there is time for a fresh start in life.

Each week of the holiday season, I’m presenting a free-to-watch seasonal romantic comedy. Today’s offering is New Year’s Eve. I really like this one. This star-studded movie is free to watch on TubiTV. Enjoy!

Hoppin’ John for a Lucky New Year

In the South, it is traditional to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day. Last year, I was in Richmond, and I made the mistake of waiting until December 31 to buy a can of black eyed-peas. There wasn’t a can left! So, this would be a good time to shop for some black eyed peas, if you’d like to attract money in the new year. According to Wikipedia, there is a tradition of leaving 3 peas on your plate for prosperity in the new year. 

You can buy black-eyed peas in the can, and even black eyed peas and rice (Hoppin’ John) in the can.  I tried it and it’s not bad, but it is really salty and pretty spicy. This brand also makes seasoned collard greens. I like those, too.

Of course, you could make Hoppin’ John from scratch and I think it would taste better. I have made vegetarian Hoppin’ John by sauteing onion, garlic, green pepper, celery and tomatoes (canned tomatoes would be fine) and then adding canned, rinsed black eyed peas and cooked rice. That was a quick version and it was very good. You could put it in Mason Jars and gift it on New Year’s Day, if you are visiting. This isn’t a picture of my dish but the Wikipedia picture is pretty much how it looked:

The way I prepare collard greens is less slow-cooked Southern-style and more heart-healthy-style. I cut out the big, tough central ribs and quickly saute the chopped leaves in olive oil, lemon and garlic until they are bright green. I don’t add meat and they don’t take long to cook.  This recipe for quick Brazilian-style collard greens is just about exactly how I chiffonade chop and cook mine. I think they would be a great complement to the hearty dish of Hoppin’ John.

I discovered a recipe for Hoppin’ John while babysitting for a little girl and it was in her copy of The Disney Princess Cookbook. It had so many good recipes, I ordered my own copy from eBay. Here is a recipe for Hoppin’ John. It is ascribed to Tiana, the heroine in The Princess and the Frog.

Tiana’s Hoppin’ John

Gather:

  • A metal strainer or steamer
  • A large saucepan
  • A large skillet with lid

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of black eyed peas (dried) – check for any little stones before cooking
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 lb baked ham, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp of celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup long grain rice

Directions:

  1. Rinse the black eyed peas in a metal strainer, then put them in a large saucepan.
  2. Pour in 4 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil and cook them for 2 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and let the beans stand for 1 hour.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add ham, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Cook the mixture until the onion is transparent, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and their liquid to the skillet and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pan and continue cooking until the beans are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Pour in one more cup of water and stir in the rice. Cover the skillet and continue simmering for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  6. Stir and serve.

Make Plans Now For These New Year’s Eve Events

Before you know it, New Year’s Eve will be here! With a little planning, you can attend one of these fabulous events to ring in 2023. Which sounds the most wonderful to you? All events take place on December 31, 2022 (naturally!)

Washington, DC
  • Black Tie Gala at the Hotel Willard Intercontinental. Expect a well-dressed crowd of young professionals. $145 desserts until midnight (no dinner), open bar, dancing to DJs and live bands, party favors, champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. Pay more to get in earlier with dinner options.
  • A Night at the Kennedy Center The musical Wicked is playing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm. The musical performance, A Jazz New Year’s Eve, plays at 7 pm and 9 pm.
Chevy Chase, MD
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
  • The Greenbrier resort features a whole day of New Year’s Eve activities for registered guests, including an early morning Fun Run, an afternoon Champagne tasting and two parties, one for kids and one for adults. The Frosted in Diamonds event is $225/person, plus tax and gratuity, and features multiple food stations, a live band, dancing and a champagne drop. The children’s party is $125/child between ages 6 and 12.
Alexandria, VA
  • First Night Alexandria in Old Town is back this year after a hiatus for the pandemic. The musical performances are indoors and you will need a pass for that ($50 for adults, less for others). The “party” is on the plaza in front of Town Hall (you will also need the pass for that) BUT those fireworks are free! There will be fireworks at midnight for about ten minutes, best visible from the waterfront parks and the Masonic Memorial in Old Town.
  • Ice and Lights at the Winter Village at Cameron Run. Ice skating, lights, food and more until 10 p.m. Tickets: $8-$20. Cameron Run Regional Park 4001 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria, VA 22304.
Arlington, VA
  • Masquerade-themed New Year’s Eve Party at Clarendon Ballroom. Tickets start at $45 (Coat Check $10) and include live entertainment, party favors and Champagne toast. 9 pm – 1 am. 3185 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington

Falls Church City

Herndon, VA
  • Party like it’s the ’80s at the sports bar, Ned Devine’s Irish Gastro Pub, with the throwback band, The Reflex. 9:30 pm – Midnight. 2645 Centreville Road, Herndon, VA. (This is the shopping center with the big clock).
McLean, VA
Vienna, VA
  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA. 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. More than 500,000 LED lights and displays transform the gardens into a winter wonderland, including a flowing stream of softly glowing lights, two-story animated fountain, and Gingerbread Village. The price of this event ranges from $16 to $20. Advance registration is recommended.
Doswell, VA
  • Kings Dominion Winterfest* (Doswell, VA near Ashland and Richmond) is a fantastic, family-friendly New Year’s Eve experience! Expect ice skating (for a fee), amusement park rides, discounts on holiday merchandise in the gift shops, musical performances and fireworks at midnight. I went last year and had a wonderful time.
Nellysford, VA
Williamsburg, VA
  • Williamsburg Inn New Year’s Eve Celebration – An elegant night featuring an 8-course dinner, wine, champagne toast. $275/person, plus tax and gratuity.
  • Colonial Williamsburg Community Celebration – this free, outdoor festival held in a heated tent on the grounds of the Art Msueums of Colonial Williamsburg, with live music, televisions for the ball drop, and beverages fro purchase. 301 S. Nassau Street.
  • Busch Gardens Christmas Town is open until 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Virginia Beach, VA
  • Last Night on the Town is a free street festival and concert, with family and kids activities from 6 pm to 8 pm and bands and parties from 8 pm – to the midnight countdown with Virginia Beach Ball Drop.
Chincoteague, VA
  • Pony Island Horseshoe Drop – Festivities begin at 11 pm at this parade and street festival, featuring a costume parade (this year’s theme is “Cowboy Culture”), music, dancing and a horseshoe drop at midnight. Robert Reed Downtown Waterfront Park. Stick around for the Polar Pony Plunge on New Year’s Day as costumed brave souls plunge into the icy Atlantic waters at 1:23 p.m.

Cool Yule Review: Kings Dominion Winterfest

You might be familiar with the Virginia theme park, Kings Dominion. Located in Doswell, Virginia, just outside of Ashland and about 20 minutes from Richmond, VA, the theme park is transformed into a winter wonderland called Winterfest for evening visits only from late November to New Year’s Eve (see 2022 dates and hours below). I highly recommend a visit this holiday season.

Winterfest Schedule

November 25 – December 18 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) – 5 pm – 10 pm

December 19 – 30 (Monday – Friday) – 5 pm – 10 pm

(Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)

December 31 (New Year’s Eve) – 5 pm – 12:30 a.m.

I visited Winterfest with my family on New Year’s Eve last year. I found a diverse crowd where everyone seemed to be having a good time and no one acted up or was obnoxious.The Kings Dominion staff were friendly, too.

Things to see and do —

  • Strolling around to look at the lights and decorations.
  • Ice skating. We didn’t do that but the ice rink was huge and not crowded at all. I think I would try that next time.
  • Watching and dancing to live music.
  • Watching the modest but fun parade (it still went on even though it was raining!)
  • Viewing the Nativity and visiting the nativity animals in the petting area.
  • Shopping – really decent shopping in the boutiques. Lots of sales. If you are a Snoopy fan, you’ll be very happy. A terrific assortment of Snoopy plush dogs and holiday items.
  • Seeing shows and walk-around characters. Because of Covid, we opted out of the indoor shows but I have heard they are very good, especially the Peanuts progam. There were plenty of entertainers outdoors to see.
  • Riding some of the rides that were open.
  • Reading letters to Santa displayed at the North Pole post office (warning: you may get emotional!)
  • Fireworks (may be just on New Year’s Eve). The best place to watch the fireworks, my sister discovered, was near Candy Apple Grove next to the funnel cake stand there. No crowds and a great view!

Tips
  • Wear good walking shoes! You’ll be covering a lot of ground.
  • Get a gingerbread funnel cake with ice cream (I think it will take 3 people to finish it).
  • If it’s in your budget, splurge on an igloo rental (heated plastic transparent enclosures). If it rains, you have a private heated enclosure that is yours for the night. But there are only a few so you have to reserve them for your date.
Where to Stay
  • KOA Campgrounds offer space for RVs as well as roomy, large cabins. They have also offered shuttle transportation to Kings Dominion. We didn’t stay there because it was sold out.
  • There are lots of hotels in nearby Ashland, which is a quick drive to Kings Dominion.

👟 How to Keep Your Resolutions 👟

Merry 8th Day of Christmas and Happy New Year!

So…how are those resoltutions coming along? 

Don’t worry, today is also Motivation and Inspiration Day. I am here to motivate and inspire you. You can do this! I believe you!

If you have difficulty sticking to your resolutions, here are some tips that may work for you…

1. Go on Pinterest or Google and find an an inspirational image, motivational quote or funny meme pertaining to your resolution that you can download and print. For example, I would like to meditate regularly. I found a great quote about meditation on Pinterest that I know will inspire me. I will print it and tape it to my bathroom mirror. You could also tape in your calendar or planner or pin it to your bulletin board. Or incorporate a bunch of images in a vision board. Memes can help you have a sense of humor about something you are struggling to achieve, such as saving or weight loss, while reminding you to work on your goal.

2. Pick at least one fairly easy resolution you can accomplish in a month or less, right off the bat, such as reading one book in January or cleaning and de-cluttering under the kitchen sink. Nothing inspires you like those little wins! Continue reading

The Tradition of New Year Celebrations

Happy New Year!

You know, I love New Year’s Eve. To me, it is one of the most glamorous and sparkling of holidays. But I think sometimes we forget about New Year’s Day! It gets a little eclipsed by New Year’s Eve. But New Year’s Day is special in its own right.

Here are some New Year’s traditions to help you celebrate New Year’s Day to the fullest. Many of the traditions of New Year’s Day are associated with good luck and good health.

Creating New Year’s Resolutions

I take my resolutions very seriously! I devote hours to reflection and planning for the new year in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But if you have not written your resolutions yet, New Year’s Day is the perfect time to begin. Good to have on hand is a 2022 planner or calendar and a notebook or computer.

First Day Hike

I don’t know if this is a country-wide tradition but in Virginia, all the state parks are open for the First Day Hike. It’s simple. You simply take a good, long hike outdoors on New Year’s Day.

Why Do We Eat Blackeyed Peas and Collard Greens on New Year’s Day?

The Southern custom of blackeyed peas goes back to the Civil war era. Blackeyed peas were one of the few foods avaialble at the end of the war in the South and people felt lucky to have them. After the war, it became a tradition to eat these on the first of January every year to bring good luck and prosperity to the household.

Some people say the peas represent coins, the greens represent bills (money) and cornbread represents gold.

These foods are healthy and delicious, so starting off the year eating them is not a bad idea.

One way to make black eyed peas more palatable is to make Hopping John. Hopping John is a South Carolina dish made of black eyed peas, ham hock, stewed tomatoes and of course, rice. It can’t be Carolinian without rice!

Vegetarian Hopping John

You can buy canned Hopping John or seasoned black eyed peas. But it is not hard to make. i used to make a vegetarian version with canned black eyed peas, rinsed, and canned tomatoes with juice. To this mixture, I added sauteed garlic, chopped green bell pepper and chopped yellow onion, salt and pepper and bay leaf. You could also add green onions and chopped celery to the saute mixture. This is most delicious if you make it a day a head and reheat. Serve with or without rice, as you like. But greens are a must! 🙂

Why Do We Eat Pork and Sauerkraut on New Year’s Day?

The Pennsylvania Dutch (and other Pennsylvanians) eat pork and sauerkraut for good luck. The pig roots for food moving forward. For this reason, it is considered lucky. Long shreds of sauerkraut are said to represent a long life — and some people also equate cabbage with money.

 

🍾👑🎉 Happy New Year’s Eve! 🥂🎩🕛

Merry 6th Day of Christmas, Happy New Year’s Eve and Happy Champagne Day!

What are you doing New Year’s….New Year’s Eve?  I love that song. This is my favorite rendition of it, by Rufus Wainwright…


I hope you have festive plans!  Maybe staying safer at home, again, this year? If you want to go out, check the Cool Yule Blog calendar of events for ideas.

Friends in Virginia, keep in mind that on January 1st, all Virginia State Parks and many county parks are hosting a first day hike. Put your best foot forward and take a hike on New Year’s Day!

Here is some background information about New Year’s Eve customs we know and love.

Why we celebrate the New Year on January 1?

For centuries, various cultures around the world have celebrated the New Year at various times of the year, including spring, summer, fall and winter. The Western tradition of celebrating the New Year on January 1 goes back to the time of Julius Caesar of Rome, who proclaimed that January 1st was the first day of the new year. January was named in honor of Janus, the Roman god who guarded the gate between earth and heaven, and a great festival was held in his name. Janus had two faces; one to look at the old year departing and the other to look at the new year arriving. (Source: Happy New Year Around the World by Lois S. Johnson, 1966).

Why is a newborn baby assoiated with the New Year?

The Greek god, Dionysus, was represented as a baby in the ancient Greek new year festival in the spring. It probably became associated with the themes of rebirth and newness.

Why Do We Sing Auld Lang Syne at Midnight on New Year’s Eve?

The band leader Guy Lombardo was from Canada and he got his start there, playing at dances. Ontario had a large Scottish population and it was traditional to end dances by playing “Auld Lang Syne” a song written by the immensely popular Scottish poet Robert Burns who lived around the time of George Washington, who based it off an old Scottish song of unknown origin.

When Lombardo and his band relocated to the United States, they began playing New Year’s Eve concerts that were broadcast on the radio, and in 1929, the band ended the concert with the song in their repertoire and his performances became a tradition on radio and later television into the mid-1970s. Now, it just wouldn’t seem like New Year’s Eve without Auld Lang Syne at midnight.

Why do we use noisemakers and make noise on New Year’s Eve?

The custom of making noise and setting off fireworks goes back to an ancient pagan tradition of making noise to scare away evil spirits and to welcome good spirits and good luck. It is the same reason why churches (at least they used to) ring bells on New Year’s Eve — to drive the Devil away.

Why do we wear funny hats on New Year’s Eve?

Many ancient customss involve wearing some sort of costume during New Year festivals. The idea behind this custom is that you will not be recognized by evil spirits or fairies who might otherwise do you harm.

Why do we throw confetti and streamers on New Year’s Eve? 

The custom of doing this at New Year’s Eve probably began most likely in France in 1885. Flowers, confetti (tiny candies), rice and bits of paper were showered on brides in Italy, England and France to ensure the bride’s fertility and the couple’s prosperity for centuries. Confetti – both the candies and the paper kind — were tossed from parades to spectators during carnival season. It is likely that the custom transferred to New Year’s Eve celebrations as wishes for prosperity at parties. The custom of throwing serpentine streamers likely originated with the tradition of throwing streamers from aboard ship to well-wishers on the dock as one left on a voyage. It was a symbolic gesture of affection and connection.

Why do we dress up on New Year’s Eve?

The celebration of the start of the year in America was typically a quiet one. People went to church; Dutch immigrants in New York hosted open houses for family, friends and neighbors to visit. After the Industrial Revolution and inventions of electrc lights, street cars and subways (late 1800s to early 1900s), however, more people gravitated to cities like New York and Washington, DC to work and make friends. Going out at night became possible because of the increased lighting and transportation options. It became the fashion to go to New Year’s Eve parties at social clubs or in private homes for dinner and dancing, or to celebrate at home. People began dressing up in their finest and most sparkly attire for these ritzy fetes to impress the other hosts and guests — and the custom likely came to be associated with starting the new year with hopes for success on the right foot. The sparkles reflected the light in these lower-light settings, symbolizing a bright start to the new year.

What is the history of New Year’s resolutions?

The custom of resolutions is more than 4,000 years old! Ancient Babylonians and Romans presented offerings and prayers to their gods at the start of the new year. They promised to behave with virtue and in ways pleasing to the gods in order to win favor from them in the new year.

Why do we kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve?

The custom of kissing at midnight on New Year’s Eve is a tradiion in America that likely arrived with Scottish and German settlers, who in turn were influenced by Ancient Roman, Celtic and Viking customs in which kissing was thought to protect people from ill fortune and evil spirits. German immigrants believed whomever you were with at midnight at New Year’s Eve affected your luck in the new year.

Why do we drink champagne on New Year’s Eve?

Champagne was once so expensive that only royalty could afford to drink it. In the 1800s, it became affordable enough for people to afford on very special occasions and it continued to be associated with riches and luxury. It probably was drunk on New Year’s Eve since so many people wish for prosperity then.

Why do we drop a ball on New Year’s Eve at midnight?

Sailors used set their timepieces by dropping floating balls into the sea from their boats at certain intervals and then finding them with a spyglass. The first time ball dropped on New Year’s Eve in the U.S. happened in 1845 in Washington, DC and in the early 1900s, the tradition began in Times Square, New York. But Times Square is not named after the ball. It is named because the New York Times moved their offices there in 1904.

New Year’s Eve by the numbers

How do you like to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Statista has some findings about how Americans celebrate this special night. Do you watch the ball fall down?

Infographic: Key Ingredients to a New Year's Celebration | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista