Shedding Light On New Year Traditions.

Years come and go, but many New Year traditions carry on through the decades. How did they start? The AdServices team wondered about that, so we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with the holiday.

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796. He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins before that. It became even more popular when big band leader Guy Lombardo started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890, taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood and decorated with light bulbs as it descended from its perch over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972 until his death in 2012.
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the new year dates back to Ancient Greece where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus, the god of wine and parties. Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it mirrored the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the new year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, here’s to a Happy New Year filled with rewarding experiences, activities and memories!

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