International Observance: Happy New Year!

Many Americans spend New Year’s Day watching the Tournament of Roses Football GameJANUARY 1: We wish you a “Happy New Year!”

The modern Gregorian calendar observes New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, but the roots of this tradition run back thousands of years. The ancient Romans used a calendar that marked the New Year on Jan. 1, too. It’s recorded that Julius Caesar himself established Jan. 1 as New Year’s Day in 46 BC. But Caesar didn’t originate that idea; the establishment of January as the first month of a New Year is credited to ancient pagans. (Wikipedia has details.) The god of gates and beginnings, Janus, had two faces—one facing forward and the other facing backward. While many think of Janus as a Roman god, his two-faced roots may reach back into the ancient Middle East. It’s clear that we have ancient pagan ancestors to thank for starting our year in January.

Fun and (Maybe) Frustration in Tournament of Roses

Many American families mark New Year’s Day with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses—it’s common to watch the Rose Bowl Game with friends or check out the Rose Parade on television. (If your kids are looking for something to do while you watch the game, check out Kaboose for craft and recipe ideas.)

Last month, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses announced a major redesigned its website to meet growing demand for an online experience of the parade. You can try to view the website here, but it’s repeatedly crashing on New Year’s Day due to all the fans wanting to see this new site.

Finally, a New Year’s Safety Tip to Guard Your Car

Just be sure to lock your car if you venture out to see a football game with friends today—USA Today reports that New Year’s Day has long been the most popular day of the year for auto thefts.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email