Monday, January 3, 2011

Traditions Continue in 2011

The tradition of New Years Eve celebrations stems from old beliefs and superstitions. Noise making goes back to the ancient custom of using loud noises to drive evil spirits from a house during the times of festive celebration.

Many nationalities and cultures still use noise to celebrate. America has her ratchet rattles and noise makers. Denmark smashes in the New year. People go to friends houses and throw bits of broken pottery that they have collected throughout the year at the houses. They also bang on the doors to make noise.

The Dutch love to celebrate New Years. It was one of their favorite holidays when they settled New Amsterdam in the mid-17th century. When the English took over the city in 1674 and called it New York, British custom at the time called for celebrating the New Year on the Vernal Equinox, March 25th. The dutch populace so loved the holiday on January 1st, they convinced the British to move their New year celebration.

Traditions have to start somewhere. The ball dropping tradition at New York's Times Square began in 1904 when the Times Tower was constructed. At the time it was New York city's second tallest building, rising to a height of 375 feet.

Adolph Ochs, the then young publisher of the New York times, moved his paper into the new building on New Year's weekend and decided to celebrate the event with a New Year's eve rooftop fireworks display.

It was spectacular, but it was dangerous. The following year the fireworks were replaced by the decending brightly-lit ball.

A tradition begun. Have a great 2011!

1 comment:

Lorelei said...

I didn't know that it started in 1904....some traditions are timeless......thank you for the information.

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