As we prepare our pork and sauerkraut, we have an opportunity to reflect on the blessings of the past year and prepare for the coming year. New Year’s is celebrated differently around the world, which raises the question: How did the New Year’s celebration start, and why is Jan. 1 the first day of a new year?
Looking back, the holiday of the New Year dates back 4,000 years ago in Babylon. This holiday was very different back then than it is today, but it still consisted of delicious food and festivities full of celebration all throughout the land. Although this was considered the New Year, it wasn’t until Julius Caesar that Jan. 1 would be credited as the year’s first day. New Year’s has always sparked many celebrations across the globe of many different traditions.
One of these traditions includes eating grapes by the dozen in Spain on New Year’s Eve as a tradition for hope for the coming months. Pork is also popular to serve in many countries as pigs often represent prosperity. Other traditions include hiding an almond inside rice pudding giving 12 months of good luck to whoever uncovers it. As you can see, there are traditions scattered across the globe and the United States is no different.
In the United States, we are all reminded of the iconic dropping of the ball in Times Square. As the clock ticks down to midnight, the giant ball of many colors starts its descent to the ground and to the coming year. This event is watched throughout the world and has become our landmark on this historic day. The New Year is full of celebration wherever you are on the globe, and this year will be no different. With many people starting 2016 with a fresh start and many resolutions, it is sure to be quite the occasion.
From a legislative perspective this will be a very important year to continue discussing the drug problem that has been burdening our communities for several years. Raising awareness about this issue and working for reforms that keep drugs out of the hands of children remains the top issue for 2016. I hope you had a very merry Christmas and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.
Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at tinyurl.com/buchyjanuary2016
The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.