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Wring out the old; ring in the new!

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Hey, New Year Lads and Lasses!

New Years Eve Day is upon us and everyone is getting ready to ring in the new year! At 12 o’ clock tonight, we shake the dust of 2015 off our shoes and celebrate the arrival of 2016! At first glance, there isn’t much to explain about the New Years Eve tradition—stay up until midnight and countdown the hours, minutes, and seconds to the beginning of the coming year.Wring out the old; ring in the new!

One might not expect such straightforward traditions to have changed much throughout the last 4000 years, however, that’s quite a long time to keep a tradition going exactly the same way that it had started. Things were bound to change a little, right?

Well, yes and no. See, the tradition of staying up until midnight has always been the New Years tradition. So if the tradition didn’t change, what did?

The date.

What?!! How can that be? How does the date of the new year get changed? Well, it’s not so much that the new year changed days as much as it was that people started using different calendars (and even making up their own). For instance, the ancient Babylonians used to celebrate their New Year’s Day late in March around the vernal equinox.

Originally, the Roman calendar only had 10 months and consisted of slightly over 300 days. But in the year 46 B.C., when Julius Caeser first introduced his Julian calendar (which most resembles the Gregorian calendar that we all know and love these days), he had to add 90 extra days just to make it all work!

But no matter whether people based their calendars off of earthly matters or the motion and arrangement of heavenly bodies, the important thing is that we continue to celebrate the passing of the old year and the coming of the new one with warm hearts and the company of those we love.

From Everything Summer Camp—Happy New Year’s, Everybody! And as always, thanks for reading.


- John

Happy New Year to everyone!

Posted in History Lessons


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