Below is a synopsis of the history of New Year's eve from Garrison Keillor's blog. It's a popular blog site so you may have already found it in your "inbox".In any case I love the history associated with holidays and the different twists and turns they take over the years and through various cultures.
At the end of the article he tells about what some towns "drop" at midnight tonight which is fun. Leesburg, FL (here) used to drop a big orange which is perfect as we are citrus country through and through. I am not sure if they still do it or not. I think my granddaughter will be in Times Square tonight so we will look for her (hahaha).
However you celebrate or whatever traditions you have…I hope that the New Year will be a positive one and that you will learn many new things and find new friends and (as you saw from my journal prompt on yesterday's blog) that you will be "alive and aware". Happy New Year from Artist's Labyrinth and may the paths you take be filled with wonder! Ginny
Today is New Year's Eve, a day to take stock of the old year and make changes for a new year.
People across the world tonight will be linking arms at the stroke of midnight and singing "we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne," from the Scottish folk song popularized by Robert Burns (books by this author). In Scotland, New Year's Eve marks the first day of Hogmanay, a name derived from an Old French word for a gift given at the New Year. There's a tradition at Hogmanay known as "first-footing": If the first person to cross your threshold after midnight is a dark-haired man, you will have good luck in the coming year. Other customs vary by region within Scotland, but most involve singing and whiskey.
English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (books by this author) wrote: "Ring out the old, ring in the new / Ring, happy bells, across the snow / The year is going, let him go / Ring out the false, ring in the true."
Here in the United States, the custom of raising and dropping a giant ball arose out of the time when signals were given to ships at harbor. Starting in 1859, a large ball was dropped at noon every day so sailors could check their ship chronometers.
The Times Square celebration dates back to 1904, when The New York Timesopened its headquarters on Longacre Square. The newspaper convinced the city to rename the area "Times Square," and they hosted a big party, complete with fireworks, on New Year's Eve. Some 200,000 people attended, but the paper's owner, Adolph Ochs, wanted the next celebration to be even splashier. In 1907, the paper's head electrician constructed a giant lighted ball that was lowered from the building's flagpole. The first Times Square Ball was made of wood and iron, weighed 700 pounds, and was lit by a hundred 25-watt bulbs. Now, it's made of Waterford crystal, weighs almost six tons, and is lit by more than 32,000 LED lights. The party in Times Square is attended by up to a million people every year.
Other cities have developed their own ball-dropping traditions. Atlanta, Georgia, drops a giant peach. Eastport, Maine, drops a sardine. Ocean City, Maryland, drops a beach ball, and Mobile, Alabama, drops a 600-pound electric Moon Pie. In Tempe, Arizona, a giant tortilla chip descends into a massive bowl of salsa. Brasstown, North Carolina, drops a Plexiglas pyramid containing a live possum; and Key West, Florida, drops an enormous ruby slipper with a drag queen inside it.