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The Orange & Green

The History of New Year’s Resolutions and Traditions

As the new year rolls around, many people worldwide create resolutions for themselves that they will accomplish throughout the year. New Year’s resolutions date back to ancient Babylonian times almost four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia. During these times, time was measured differently and had a different beginning than now. For example, their first month was called Nisānu, which in today’s time would be late March/early April. They started their year around this time because it was planting season for barley; they would revolve many of their important dates around the growing of their crops. The citizens would make what is known as New Year resolutions when making promises to their gods, such as returning items such as tools or equipment they borrowed from their neighbors or paying off debts they own. They would do this to start their planting seasons on the right foot. Did you know that January as the first month wasn’t established until 46 BC when Julius Caesar realized that most Roman citizens didn’t even know what day it was? He took action by standardizing the Julius Calendar in 46 BC. The term January came after the god Janus, who was known for new beginnings. Nevertheless, in 1582, Pope Gregory the 13th standardized the Gregorian Calendar, which is still commonly used today. 

 

During New Year’s, we have a unique celebration that is called “The Ball Drop” where millions of people join around to celebrate and watch a magnificent ball of light drop in New York City. Notably, many big cities around the world have their own version of “The Ball Drop.” We do this to count down to the new year and mark a new beginning.  Journalists for the news site, Because I Said I Would, describe the reason for this phenomena as marking a grand tradition: “This tradition actually comes from ancient sailing. Sailors needed to know what time it was but their timekeeping methods aboard the ships were primitive.” This is a better understanding of New Year’s because the sailors would wait until the ball dropped (at a nearby port) so that they could get a better understanding of time and visually see the signal of a new year. For the sailors, the ball dropped at the port at 1 P.M. In the present day, of course, the ball drops at 12:00 A.M. This can be a way to mark a new beginning and can also bring us closer with the millions of people around the world to cheer and be excited about a new year. Why do we start Resolutions on New Years? We do this because it’s something that can give us a positive and good start to the year and can help us create positive habits. Let’s be honest, it’s nice to start the year with a bit of hope and positivity.

 

Our Orange & Green Staff wishes you all the best year yet! Here’s to 2024! May we all reach our goals and make big moves.

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About the Contributors
Jaziah Hunt, Reporter
Jaziah Hunt is a first-year member of the Orange & Green Staff. A junior, Jaziah enjoys listening to music and hanging out with friends.
Vanessa Hernandez, Reporter
Vanessa is a senior and is involved in the Academy of Health Sciences. She’s a first-year staff member of The Orange & Green. She enjoys reading in her free time or listening to music. Vanessa is also involved in many clubs on campus; she enjoys trying new things to challenge herself. Vanessa is also a participant in Link Crew here at Porterville High. 

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