DID YOU KNOW that The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings? And that January owes its name to Janus as well, who had two faces, one looking forward, the other backward? Today's history lesson: New Year's celebrations go waaay back!
IN THE U.S. we usher out the old year and bring in the new one with parties, toasts, fireworks, new year’s resolutions and kisses at midnight. The New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City is attended by tens of thousands of people in Times Square with the dropping of the 11,875-pound, 12-foot-diameter Times Square Ball at 11:59 p.m. Who doesn’t love that countdown?
IN THE U.K. thousands gather along the Thames in London to watch the fireworks around the London Eye; the New Year officially starts when Big Ben strikes twelve. In Scotland, they celebrate Hogmanay, the Scots name for New Year's Eve, with street parties in Edinburgh. In Wales, Calennig is celebrated, bringing thousands to the capital, Cardiff.
IN FRANCE much attention is paid to the weather on New Year’s Eve, which is seen as a harbinger of the new year. Wind blowing east, fruit will yield; blowing west, livestock will flourish; blowing north, poor crop yield; wind blowing south, bon weather all year.
IN RUSSIA the celebration of Novi God is greeted by fireworks, champagne, lavish food and gifts.
IN SPAIN twelve grapes are eaten on New Year’s Eve, one for each month of the coming year, in the hope that each grape—and month—will be sweet. Sour grapes not welcome.
NEW YEAR’S INVITATIONS from William Arthur and Vera Wang Fine Papers mark the occasion with elegance and flair. Coordinate with napkins and coasters that can be personalized with a wide variety of motifs, typestyles and fabulous colors, imprinted in your choice of rich foils.
Let the most festive season commence the world over!
Location photos courtesy of the websites familyinnewyork (left), and protocolsnow.