New Year’s Eve Traditions

December 17, 2015

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What is New Year’s Eve all about and how did it get started?

In the United States, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with fireworks and noise-makers, formal parties, family and friend-oriented activities, and many large, public events.The portrayal of festivities on radio and television has helped certain aspects of the celebration in America remain through the years; beginning on the radio in 1928 and then eventually onto television networks such as CBS, NBC and ABC, with infamous host Dick Clark, then Regis Philbin and now, Ryan Seacrest.

Live in New York City in Times Square is perhaps the most famous American tradition of all… the dropping of the ball at 11:59 P.M.. Hundreds of thousands gather to watch the ball make it’s one minute descent, arriving exactly at midnight. This tradition began in 1907, with the original ball made of iron and wood. The current ball is made of crystal, is six feet in diameter and weighs more than 1,000 pounds.

Some of the traditional food on New Year’s, especially in the South, is black eyed peas and ham hocks. An old saying goes, “Eat peas on New Year’s day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year.” Another American tradition is the Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena, California. The Tournament of Roses parade that precedes the football game on New Year’s day is made up of elaborate and inventive floats. Did you know that the first parade was held in 1886?

We all know about New Year’s Resolutions but where did this custom come from? It is believed that Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions. The early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year. Also, the fireworks on New Year’s Eve are believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to bring good luck and dispel evil spirits.

Happy New Year’s Eve and Day from University Village! How do you and your loved ones celebrate New Year’s Eve?

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