New Year’s Day in The Villages FL
January 1st is New Year’s Day — a time of optimism, planning, and resoluteness.
There’s a feeling that maybe this year we’ll make the changes we’ve been meaning to: more rest, better eating habits, more exercise, or a new job.
New Year’s Day is about taking a moment to get ready for everything that is about to unfold. Happy New Year!
HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S DAY
In the United States and many other countries around the world, January 1, the first day of the Gregorian calendar, ushers in a new year replete with New Year’s resolutions and promises to do better than in the year before. The day begins with hangover concoctions for some and, for others, prayers of gratitude for surviving to see a new year filled with promise. But how did this holiday begin? It’s a very old story.
Most civilizations aligned their calendars with the moon. The ancient Mesopotamians and Babylonians observed the new year over 4,000 years ago. For them, a new year followed the phases of the moon and the vernal equinox — when sunlight and darkness were equally balanced.
The Babylonians ritualized the vernal equinox with Akitu, a religious observance spanning 11 days. The Egyptians marked the new year with the flooded waters of the Nile and the star, Sirius. To this very day, the Chinese New Year arrives with the second new moon after the winter solstice.
The evolution from the lunar calendar to today’s Gregorian calendar commences with the early Roman calendar devised by Romulus, allegedly suckled by wolves who, along with his brother, Remus, founded Rome. The original Roman calendar was introduced in the 8th century at the start of the vernal equinox (when the light and the darkness are equal, remember?) with 10 months and 304 days. Another Roman king, Numa Pompilius added Januarius and Februarius.
Most historians credit the Roman emperor Julius Caesar with developing the Julian calendar, designating January 1 as the start of a new year. The Gregorian calendar, which many nations around the world use today, arrived in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII aligned the calendar, not with the moon, but with the earth’s rotation around the sun — marking 365 days.
NEW YEAR’S DAY ACTIVITIES
- One word: brunch
Soak up the champagne with a nice stack of pancakes and strong coffee. Or go wild with a crab cake benedict. Start the year off on a good foot, with a great meal!
- Share resolutions, intentions, or goals with loved ones
Making any change to your life or behavior — big or small — becomes easier when you have the support of friends and family. Say what you’d like to do differently out loud and chances are you’re more likely to follow through.
- Clean out your closet
Clear out the old clothes, the frumpy pants, and the unwearable shoes. Play some great music. Invite friends over. Start the new year with some space in your closet and mind for wonderful new things.
5 NOVEL FACTS ABOUT NEW YEAR’S
- 726 miles traveled
In 2012, the AAA claimed that Americans traveled 726 miles on New Year’s Day.
- Hangover food saves many on New Year’s Day
Instead of cooking a big meal on New Year’s Day, 28% of Americans eat out at restaurants for hangover food.
- New year, new babies!
There are almost 8,000 new babies born with a January 1 birthday.
- Champagne showers
360 million glasses of sparkling wine are consumed on New Year’s Eve.
- Fourth favorite holiday in America
41% of Americans say New Year’s Eve is their favorite holiday, after Christmas, Thanksgiving, and July 4th.
WHY WE LOVE NEW YEAR’S DAY
- It feels like a blank page
New year, new … everything! The stress of the holiday season is behind you and you have a whole new year for travel, connection, learning, and exploration. What can you do this year that makes you unrecognizable to yourself a year from now? Go on, think big this year!
- Your healthy habits don’t seem so weird
Sure, you like your glass of wine now and then, but every day? For those of you who have great habits like being vegetarian or low-carb and going to the gym — today, everyone’s trying to be like you. How are you going to help your friends and family stay healthier?
- The sense of accomplishment when you look back over the last year
You make wake up late today, but you accomplished a lot in the last year and probably needed the rest! New Year’s Day is a day to give yourself a pat on the back for all you’ve done and are about to do.
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