History of New Year’s resolutions and traditions

Hollyn Quiller, Photographer

Every year people all around the world gather together to celebrate the new year ahead. They spend time with friends, family and enjoy time together looking forward to a fresh start. This has gone on for over 4,000 years but overtime the history behind it has been forgotten.

“My New Year’s traditions are making a really big meal with my family and having a really nice dinner,” said Isabella Reeves, freshman.

Around 4,000 years ago, ancient Babylonians started creating New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions were made to gods. They also were the first to hold a celebration that was meant to ring in the new year. Early Christians used January first as a time to remember their past mistakes that they had made and make goals that would most likely help them in the future.

“My New Year’s resolutions are to be more social, get better grades, and work more on my music,” said Connor Nicol, freshman.

A big part of New Year’s is coming up with resolutions or things that people can improve about themselves or the world around them. In today’s society, around 45 percent of Americans say they make New Year’s resolutions but only eight percent say they end up accomplishing their goals (history.com). Many people start ringing in the new year on December 31 and end in the early morning of January first. Many people go to parties and a typical southern tradition is to eat black eyed peas which is made to symbolize coins or money.

In the United States there is an annual ball drop in New York City in Times Square. It has taken place since 1907. Originally, a fireworks show was used to show that the new year had officially begun. However, fireworks ended up being banned and still are today due to safety concerns, beginning the ball drop which still goes on today. The original ball was a 700 pound sphere that had been made of iron and wood. Today it is a multi-colored sphere that is 12 feet in diameter and weighs around 12,000 pounds.

Multiple cities across the United States has their own version of the ball drop like the one in New York City. In Atlanta, Georgia, a peach is dropped since the state is known as the peach state. In Baltimore, Maryland, a Disco ball is dropped. In Raleigh, North Carolina, an acorn made of copper and steel is dropped because Raleigh is known as “The City of Oaks.” The acorn is lowered to the ground by a crane. There are two separate times that the acorn is dropped. It is first dropped at seven so that young children can enjoy the idea of celebrating the new year as well. It is also dropped at midnight for others to enjoy that want to celebrate the real new year.

“I like the social aspect of New Year’s,” said Nicol. “Being with your friends, starting a new year, it’s just kinda starting fresh.”