New Years Eve is the last day of the year, when the ball drops at the stroke of midnight it will bring in the New Year on Jan. 1. While many traditions remain the same as when it was first celebrated, some have changed. The New Year was not always celebrated on the first of January, rather when spring would begin. According to www.wilstar.com, four thousand years ago during the ancient Babylionian, spring brought the New Year as it allowed blossoming and crops to be grown.
Currently, the New Year has symbolic characteristics. A young baby represents the new beginning, for some a fresh start. A reason for resolutions is for people to have a clean slate by starting over and making changes in their future. An old man is commonly used to symbolize the past.
The baby and old man were first used, to indicate the new and previous year, in Greece dated around 600 B.C. The Greeks had a tradition to celebrate their God of wine, Dionysus. According to www.wilstar.com, showing a baby in a basket showed the rebirth of the wine God.
Old beliefs include people looking to bring good luck to themselves. Some eat food that is in the shape of a ring, according to www.new-years-day.com, it completes a year’s cycle. Family and friends join together for the night to enjoy each other’s company. It was originally believed that the activities done on New Years and the people around affect their luck during the year arriving.
During the celebration, people often watch the fireworks go off and sing Auld Lang Syne. When looking onto the New Year many people make a resolution to better themselves. West Chester students share their new year’s experience.
One WCU student traveled to Boca Raton, Florida for New Years. She spent time with her immediate family, in addition to her aunt, uncle and cousins. Her Italian family eats fish for dinner, a tradition carried out by her mom.
After counting down from 10 to welcome in the following year, the song Auld Lang Syne is sung, which brings in the New Year. According to www.wilstar.com, Auld Lang Syne translates to “old long ago” or in other words it means “the good old days.” The original song was adapted by Robert Burns in the 1700’s. The song heard during the beginning of the New Year is Burns’ song, since it was published in 1796, shortly after his death.
Leading into the New Year, resolutions are made to better oneself. The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is a holy time when people reflect on the things done wrong in the past, with a promise to do better in the future, according to www.new-year-day.com.
Among the most common resolutions, quitting smoking is a popular choice that people want to be able to do. The University offers help to students who wish to quit smoking. The health center will work with students to make a plan that may help them quit smoking.
A WCU student, who wanted to remain anonymous, made a new years resolution to quit smoking. The student described themselves as a “social smoker” who wants to stop smoking before becoming a “habit smoker.”
Each year, a general resolution is for one to lose weight or to get in shape. Gyms frequently have more visitors just after the New Year. It is normal to set a weight loss goal, keep a routine of going to the gym.
College students usually will have mutual resolutions involving doing better in school, receiving better grades, putting the most effort into their work, using “resources more,” managing time and stress, and having more time for one self.
The New Year will come each year regardless of what occurred the year before; resolutions will only come true by working towards one’s goals.
Ginger Rae Dunbar is a second-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at RD655287@wcpua.edu.