by Ingredient

Christmas - A Brief History Of The World’s Favourite Party



It’s pretty amazing how in five seconds a new year can begin but you still feel the same. Sure your surroundings may drastically change (especially if you’re at Times Square in New York) but you don’t feel different. That’s the magic of New Years Eve.

Probably the biggest worldwide party of the year, New Year’s Eve can soley be defined as a celebration. People celebrate the memories they’ve had in the past year.

They rejoice about the experiences they’re going to create in the new year. They also make resolutions which they may or may not keep. But were the New Year celebrations always a big event?

The celebration of the new year is actually one of the oldest holidays there is. It first began in the years around 2000 BC, where the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular way of celebrating, and it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities were nothing like those days.

The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.


In order to make the calendar right, the Roman Senate soon declared January 1st as the beginning of a new year. After many centuries came and went, New Years Day was recognized as a religious feast.

But once the 1900’s came about, December 31st, or New Years Eve, as its normally known as, has become an occasion for celebration.

The most popular tradition on the night of New Years Eve is setting off fireworks at midnight. Depending on the country, individuals may be allowed to burn fireworks, even if it is forbidden the rest of the year.

When you look at the world as a whole, you can see that New Years Eve has become a popular tradition. In Brazil, the world’s biggest and most famous fireworks display is held on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. The annual display attracts 1.5-2.5 million people to the beach!


In Russia, the new year is greeted by fireworks and drinking champagne. The celebration is considered a family event, with lavish dinner tables and gifts.


The president of Russia normally counts down the final seconds of the "old year" while a giant clock tower chimes in the new year. During each chime, it is customary for a person to make a wish.

In Sydney, Australia, one of the world’s largest fireworks displays is held at the harbour, where 1-1.5 million people come to watch. In regards to history, Australia was one of the first countries in the world to celebrate the new year.

But there is no other celebration like the one in New York City where the world famous 1,070-pound, 6-foot-diameter Waterford crystal ball is located. Starting off high above Times Square, the ball is lowered starting at 11:59:00 p.m. and reaches the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight.

But nothing is more special than the special kids known as “New Year’s Babies”. These lucky infants are simply born on New Year’s Day!


In order to celebrate the births of these babies, many hospitals give out prizes (donated by local businesses) to the first baby born in that hospital in the new year.

The prizes may include various baby related items such as baby formula, baby blankets, gift certificates to stores which specialize in baby related merchandise, and diapers.

Despite the many differences people have, New Year’s Eve still manages to bring people together. Who knew the celebration of a new year, along with fireworks and a countdown, could make people happy enough to forget about the differences they have with each other.

Maybe it’s the rush or the excitement you feel during that special moment. Whatever it is, let’s hope it lasts because it’s a defining moment that makes life wonderful.

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