Posted by E on December 30, 1997 at 10:12:10:
In Reply to: Period Holidays posted by Bill Rooks on December 30, 1997 at 08:27:51:
Thanks for so many good questions and answers today!
The "stiff backed" Puritans did refrain from frivolities, to be sure, though they did celebrate Christmas. New Year's Day, on the other hand, they did not. England did not accept the Gregorian Calendar until 1752, which meant the first day of the year was still recognized by the Julian calendar (March). The holi-day was originally a Holy Day... Annunciation Day. Until recently, the celebration was still a religious feast. (It still is a Catholic Feast Day.) January 1st gradually became the date of the feast as more countries (European) began to adopt the Gregorian Calendar. So... no, the stiff backs did not celebrate New Year's Day!
The contemporary, secular celebration of New Year's Day as a date for personal resolutions and the arrival of the new year is rooted in the Roman pagan celebrations (which were also religious in nature). The two-headed god, Janus, reigned over the celebrants.
Of course, the Jewish New Year remains a religious event (the Feast of Trumpets), and for the Chinese, New Year's Day is THE most important holiday (late Jan./early Feb.).
As for Times Square; though I do come from NY, I was never mad enough to suffer such punishment. And I agree, the ball was much better than the Big Apple!
Does that answer your questions?
Post a Followup