A New Year of Hope, Prosperity and Expression
Every person is disctinct. Dates of the new year and how we celebrate it can be as different as people are. From fireworks & parties to a quiet evening alone, the celebrations and traditions are all diverse but the constant is in the hopes of success and prosperity. For many people the upcoming new year represents a new beginning or a fresh start, a rebirth if you will, to persevere, overcome, do better, make more meaningful moments and overall improve on themselves.
The New Year is celebrated on January 1st but what most people don’t know is that the original New year celebration was actually the massive Babylonian Religious Festival of Akitu and it was held during the spring equinox.
Some time around 46 BC, Julius Ceasar proposed a new calendar that corresponded with the sun as opposed to the moon. This moved the celebration from March 1st to January 1st.
In the Middle Ages, the Christian church felt that many of the ancient Roman festivals held pagan roots. So they put a stop to them or altered them and as a result the New Year celebration was celebrated on different dates throughout Medieval Europe.
In 1592 Pope Gregory XIII once again revamped the calendar. This is known as the Gregorian Calendar. This is the calendar widely used today.
Some countries and cultures use a lunar calendar. Several hold their New Year Celebrations at different times of the year. India uses both the lunar and the solar calendar, depending on what region you are in.
Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and the first day of Muharram (the start of the Islamic calendar), are celebrated in the Fall. The Chinese New Year celebration lasts a month long and starts around the end of January or sometimes the beginning of February.
Not only are the celebration dates different around the world and throughout cultures but the traditions are also diverse. In Spain, on New Years Eve, people eat 12 grapes in the final seconds leading to midnight. In Greece, people eat circular bundt style cakes with silver or gold coins baked inside. In China, dumplings are eaten as a representation of a propitious new year. In Japan, long noodles made of buckwheat are a symbol of long life. In New York, hundreds of thousands of people watch the famous ball drop in Times Square and millions more watch it on TV.
With a new year comes a new hope, but deep down we are the same beautiful people expressing themselves as individuals. Our First Expression of the new year is called Phrase pictured below. It is a monumental black and white expressionist piece. Great for a monochrome room.