Tuesday, January 3, 2017


  New Year's is a time to celebrate the end of the past year and welcome a new year.  It is a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future.  The parties and traditions surrounding this time are many and varied.  But where do they com from?  Who started them and why?  New Year's Eve has specific traditions and celebrations as does New Year's Day.  Here are some specific traditions from America and where they come from.


Auld Lang Syne
   A traditional Scottish song that was first published in 1796, Auld Lang Syne is the most popular song that no one knows the word to!  Guy Lombardo played the song on New Year's Eve in 1929 and it has become a tradition ever since. The song celebrate the remembrance of old friends.


   Kissing At Midnight 
   On New Year's Eve at the stroke of midnight, everyone kisses.  Even if you don't have someone to kiss, you wish you were kissing.  This is more than just a celebration.  It is a tradition with a base.  It is generally believed that whatever you are doing when New Year's Day arrives is what you will be doing for the rest of the year.  So, kissing your loved ones is just assuring yourself that you will be doing more of that over the coming year.



   Trumpet like noisemakers, loud yells of "hooray!" and blaring music are traditional at midnight.  All of that noise is not just joy at the change in seasons.  It has a basis in ancient beliefs as well.  When gas and electric lights first became used, it became a tradition to turn on all of your lights and go to the church at midnight on New Year's Eve to hear the bells ringing.  People began taking more noisemakers and hollering to make noise as well.  This tradition originated from a belief that evil spirits would be scared away by the noise.  Over the years, this morphed into the loud noisemaking that is so popular at midnight on New Year's Eve.


    A close partner to the noisemaking at midnight, is the numerous fireworks displays and the blowing up of firecrackers on New year's.  This goes hand in hand with the belief that loud noises frighten away evil spirits.  The Chinese, of course, are credited with inventing fireworks.  Fireworks are also believed to draw good luck.

Making Toasts

   In ancient England, the Saxon's used a Wassail bowl filled with alcoholic beverages.  A large cup might be passed around with a piece of hard bread in the bottom.  Everyone drank from the cup and yelled out good wishes.  Then, the host would eat the bread from the bottom of the cup.  This is where the traditional "toasting" came from.  Now, we make toasts honoring people and wishing good luck and a prosperous New Year.

The Ball Dropping

   The best known tradition and largest celebration in America is the New Year's celebration in Times Square in New York City where "the ball drops".  This tradition started in 1907 and is the most widely viewed, and attended celebration on New Year's Eve.  The ball dropping signifies the end of the old and the beginning of the new.  The countdown and drop derive from a time signal used in naval harbors at noontime.


Father Time and the New Years Baby

   Many New Year's decorations feature Father Time and the New Year's Baby.  The old year is represented by Father Time, a bearded old man with a walking stick, who caries an hour glass to symbolize the movement of time.  Father Time has roots in the Greek go Chronos, as well as the Grim Reaper.  The new year's baby traces its ancestry to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, who regarded the baby as a symbol of rebirth.  The image of a baby with a New Year banner was brought to America by German immigrants.  So, the old year hands over its responsibility to the new year, a time of rebirth and new chances.


New Year's Resolutions

    It is generally believed that the ancient Babylonians were the first people to make resolutions on New Years.  Early Christians believed that the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on your past actions and resolving to improve oneself in the coming year.  From this has grown the tradition of making New Year's resolutions.  The tradition of breaking them is probably just as old.

Tournament of Roses Parade

   One of the favorite tradition's for New Year's day is to watch the Pasadena, California Tournament of Roses Parade on television.  The parade first started in 1886, when members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers for a parade celebrating the ripening of the orange crop.  Now we watch the parade and marvel at the beautiful floats covered in thousands and thousands of flowers.  The Rose Bowl football game that follows the parade is another tradition.

Eating Black Eyed Peas

    In the southern part of the U.S., a major tradition is eating Black Eyed peas on New Year's day.  Supposedly, during the Civil War, black eyed peas were "cow peas", used for feeding cattle.  But, during the Battle of Vicksburg, the town was cut off from all food supplies for 40 days.  The people survived by eating the "cow peas" that the enemy troops had left behind.  Since that time, they have been regarded as bringing good luck to those who eat them.  They are usually paired with greens which are a symbol for wealth.

   These are some of the most famous traditions of the New Year in America.  Hopefully, you have some idea as to why we do the things we do on New Year's Eve and Day.  So go out and grab yourself a bowl of Black Eyed peas to ring in the new year and hopfully they'll bring you good luck for the coming new year!!


   Every culture and many families have tradition's and superstitions about foods that will ensure a prosperous New Year.  With the state of the economy and all the financial woes it has caused in 2009, it might not hurt for us to lean toward the superstitious side this New Year's day.  So, if you don't have any of the following foods in your kitchen right now, you might want to make a "good luck" run to the store!

Vegetables Associated with Good Luck for the New Year

   There is a tradition of eating black-eyes peas on January 1st, it is a common good luck food in the southern United States, black-eyed peas are thought to bring prosperity, their shape and abundance representing coins.  Other vegetables that are considered lucky are: Lentils, they resemble coins and are thought to bring good fortune and represent growing wealth.  Greens (kale, collards), are thought to be the color of money, they are thougtht to bring wealth and prosperity.  Cabbage, because their leaves are representative of paper money!

Pigging out during New Year's Day Dinner!

   While fish is considered lucky in NOrth America, Asia, and Europe (it's believed it represents moving forward), the overwhelming international choice for "good luck" meat is pork.  The pig or hog meat is considerd lucky because it symbolizes prosperity.

Good Luck Fruits to Eat on New Year's Day

   Many traditions include certain fruits that are believed to symbolize prosperity or good luck, such as :
   Pomegranates, associated with abundance and fertility (This could be good or bad, depending!).  Citrus, because tangerine and orange sound much like luck and wealth, respectively, in the Chinese language.  Grapes, eating 12 grapes at midnight for a prosperous, sweet year!

Good Luck Carbs

   Forget the low-carb diet for one day.  Make some rice pudding and hide an almond in the center.  Eat noodles, but be sure to eat them whole, not broken!  Many countries have traditions that include eating cakes and pastries that are baked in a ring or round shape.  Eat like the French do, and eat a stack of pancakes for good luck.  Indulge in a donut, since the Dutch believe that this sugary treat's circular shape is lucky!

Bad Luck Food Warning for New Year

   Some people believe that we should not eat anything white, because white represents death.  However in Sicily eating lasagna is lucky (but not macaroni).  In further opposition to this warning, many cultures swear that eating rice creates good luck in the new year.
   Some say not to eat chicken or anything with wings as this might make our good luck fly away.  This superstition for some, may include fish, if it is not eaten before midnight, if it is after your good luck may SWIM away!
  Not cleaning your plate, leaving that last bit is believed to assure that you will have food on your plate for the rest of the year!!


  When January comes along, you may think that the food holidays have come to an end, but you'd be wrong. January is filled with many food holidays. Here is a list of the food holidays you can look forward to in January.

  • January 1st-Apple Gifting Day- This is such a fun day to celebrate. A fun way to enjoy this national food holiday is to bake an apple pie or some other favorite apple dessert that you may like. Christmas may be over, but it's never a bad time to bake a gift for someone.

  • January 2nd-National Cream Puff Day- If you're tired of baking, never fret. You can always head to your local bakery and pick up some delicious cream puffs.

  • January 3rd-Chocolate-Filled Cherry Day- Go out and enjoy a handful of some chocolate covered cherries. I can't seem to find any that are filled with chocolate.

  • January 4th-National Spaghetti Day- Who doesn't love spaghetti (besides me)? On this food holiday, shake things up by making something different. Or at least make a homemade sauce or pasta!

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  • January 5th-National Whipped Cream Day- Whipped cream can be enjoyed in all kinds of ways. On this food holiday, why not have some strawberry short cake with lots and lots of whipped cream.

  • January 6th-National Shortbread Day-On this food holiday, do something fun. Make a batch of shortbread cookies and take them to some of your co-workers.

  • January 7th-National Tempura Day- Tempura is a batter that is usually found on Asian foods, such as sweet and sour pork. To enjoy this day, head out and pick up some Chinese food for dinner.

  • January 8th-English Toffee Day- You can always make your own English toffee. But, if you want to celebrate this day, there is an easier way, just buy a Heath candy bar.

  • January 9th-National Apricot Day- Apricots are tasty and healthy. On this food holiday, grab some dried apricots and mix them with some nuts and other dried fruit to create a trail mix.

  • January 10th-Bittersweet Chocolate Day- Bittersweet chocolate makes some very good brownies. Do I need to say anything else?

  • January 11th-Milk Day- I love milk, especially over ice! Have a glass with the leftover brownies you made a couple days ago.

  • January 12th-Curried Chicken Day- Are you tired of the same old dinners every night? Then why not celebrate this food holiday and make something different!

  • January 13th-National Peach Melba Day- Peaches, raspberries, and ice cream, does it get any better than that!!

  • January 14th-National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day- On a cold day with a bowl of soup, nothing is better than soup and a hot pastrami sandwich, this is a food holiday that'll warm your insides.

  • January 15th-Strawberry Ice Cream Day- January is the perfect time to enjoy a food holiday that brings out the summer when it's cold outside. How about a creamy, thick strawberry shake!

  • January 16th-International Hot and Spicy Food Day- If you love spicy food, you'll love this food day. Prepare all your favorite appetizers, buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers and some spicy dipping sauce.

  • January 17th-Hot-Buttered Rum Day- If you drink alcohol, this is a great way to warm up on a cold January evening. If you don't, just buy some buttered Rum Lifesavers.

  • January 18th-Peking Duck Day- If you love Asian dishes, this is the food holiday for you. Take your sweetheart out for a nice Chinese dinner for two.

  • January 19th-National Popcorn Day- Do you really need a reason to have some popcorn!

  • January 20th-National Cheese Lover's Day- There are so many different ways to enjoy this holiday. You could serve nachos, cheeseburgers, or just go out an get a cheese pizza.

  • January 21st-New England Clam Chowder Day- This is another great food holiday to celebrate on a cold January evening.

  • January 22nd-National Blonde Brownie Day- Sure chocolate brownies are delicious, but blondies are also quite tasty as well.

  • January 23rd- National Rhubarb Pie Day- I just want to know one thing...who's the one who ever thought of this kind of pie, especially one with strawberries in it....what a waste of some perfectly edible strawberries.

  • January 24th-National Peanut Butter Day- This has to be one of the best food holidays. Enjoy some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Maybe take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.

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  • January 25th-National Irish Coffee Day- If you don't drink alcohol, you can find Irish cream coffee creamer to enjoy instead.

  • January 26th-National Pistachio Day- What better way to enjoy this food holiday than to sit back with a bowl of pistachios while watching some T.V.!

  • January 27th-Chocolate Cake Day- Obviously, no one will have to be forced to partake in this food holiday!

  • January 28th-National Blueberry Pancake Day- If you're looking for a healthy food holiday, make some whole wheat pancakes and sprinkle on your blueberries right before flipping it.

  • January29th-National Corn Chip Day- Buy a bag of Frito's, some chili, add a little cheddar cheese and enjoy.

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  • January 30th-National Croissant Day- Enjoy this food holiday with some scrambled eggs and bacon.
  • January 31st-Brandy Alexander Day- If you like to drink, you'll love this food holiday! Cheers!


  • January 1st-New Year's Day- You already knew this one. Celebrate by getting ahead start on breaking your New Year's resolutions.

  • January 2nd-55MPH Speed Limit Day-Observe the 55 MPH holiday by driving the speed limit in your state or country. Or if you don't like it just say "I can't drive 55"!

  • January 3rd-J.R.R. Tolkien Day-Invite a Hobbit over for dinner! YAAAA!

  • January 4th-World Hypnotism Day- Try to hypnotise your children into doing what you want them to do. (like that's going to happen).

  • January 5th-Bird Day- Go out and pet a parrot and keep your fingers away from the beak.

  • January 6th-Epiphany-Go to church and ring some bells.

  • January 7th-I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore Day- Got a beef with someone, go up to them and yell this catchy little phrase to them.

  • January 8th-Bubble Bath Day- When's the last time you've seen any man take a bubble bath. Women, go ahead and have a "calgon take me away night".

  • January 9th-Balloon Ascension Day-This is the day you get to blow up a balloon with some helium, stick a note in it and let it fly!

  • January 10th-National Cut Your Energy Cost Day-Go green! Turn the lights off and live by candlelight for the day.

  • January 11th-National Clean Off your Desk Day-Admit, it, your desk could use a good cleaning.

  • January 13th-Rubber Duckie Day-It's your lucky day. You get to take another bath this month, even if it's not time yet.

  • January 14th-Dress Up Your Pet Day- Do we really think the dog or cat really likes to be dressed?

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  • January 15th-Humanitarian Day- Try doing a good deed for someone today.

  • January 16th-Appreciate A Dragon Day-Dragons need to be appreciated, too....YES they're real!!

  • January 17th-Customer Service Day-No matter how tempting it may be, do not allow yourself to do something weird to that persons food.

  • January 18th-Thesaurus Day-Write a story, poem or a short note today. Use your computer's thesaurus to change all the adjectives to a synonym of that word.

  • January 19th-Rid The World Of Fad Diets And Gimmicks Day- DVR a bunch of shows and then when you get home fast forward through the infomercials.

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  • January 20th-Camcorder Day- Today is the day to make a home video and submit it to America's Funniest Home Videos. Make sure you take your camcorder where ever you and your family go.

  • January 21st-National Hugging Day-"Keep on Huggin".

  • January 2nd-Answer Your Cat's Questions Day- This is for the people that can see dead people and skip where ever they go.

  • January 23rd-National Handwriting Day-Write yourself a letter then learn how to analyze your handwriting. You might learn a little about yourself (Psycho!!).

  • January 24th-Belly Laugh Day-Tell one of your good jokes to someone, just make sure it clean.

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  • January 25th-A Room Of One's Own Day- As a parent I wish I had one of these. (looking for plans to make a man cave!)

  • January 26th-National Peanut Brittle Day-Try not to let it get stuck in your teeth.

  • January 27th-Thomas Crapper Day- He was the inventor of the toilet. Try to use it at least a couple extra times on this day to salute Mr. Crapper.

  • January 29th-Fun At Work Day- How many of us think a job is fun ? ......... Anyone?..... Anyone?


  • January 30th-Inane Answering Message Day- I'll let you decide how to celebrate this one.

  • January 31st-Inspire Your Heart With Art Day-Go to an art gallery and gaze at the paintings and sculptures.