New Year's Day

New Year's Day is the first day of the new year. On the modern Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated on January 1, as it was also in ancient Rome (though other dates were also used in Rome). In all countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, except for Israel, it is a public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year.

Modern practices

January 1 marks the end of a period of remembrance of a particular passing year, especially on radio, television, and in newspapers, which usually starts right after Christmas Day. Publications often have year-end articles that review the changes during the previous year. Common topics include politics, natural disasters, music and the arts, and the listing of significant individuals who died during the past year. Often there are also articles on planned or expected changes in the coming year, such as the description of new laws that often take effect on January 1.

This day is traditionally a religious feast, but since the 1900s has become an occasion for celebration the night of December 31, called New Year's Eve. There are often fireworks at midnight. Depending on the country, individuals may be legally allowed to burn fireworks, even if it's usually outlawed the rest of the year.

It is also customary to make New Year's resolutions, which individuals hope to fulfill in the coming year. The most popular resolutions in the western world include to quit tobacco smoking, stop excessive drinking of alcohol, lose weight, and get physically fit.


Probably observed on March 1 in the old Roman Calendar, New Year's Day was fixed on January 1 by the period of the Late Republic. Some have suggested this occurred in 153 BC, when it was stipulated that the two annual consuls (after whose names the years were identified) entered into office on that day, though no consensus exists on the matter. Dates in March, coinciding with the spring equinox, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December

Among the 7th-century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands it was the custom to exchange gifts at the New Year, a pagan custom deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemings and Dutchmen, "[Do not] make vetulas, [little figures of the Old Woman], little deer or iotticos or set tables [for the house-elf, compare Puck] at night or exchange New Year gifts or supply superfluous drinks [another Yule custom]." The quote is from the vita of Eligius written by his companion, Ouen.

Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. The Feast of the Annunciation, March 25 (9 months before December 25), was the first day of the new year in England until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. The March 25 date was called Annunciation Style; the January 1 date was called Circumcision Style, because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, being the eighth day counting from December 25.

Other celebrations on 1 January

Some churches celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on January 1, based on the belief that Jesus was born on December 25, and that, according to Jewish tradition, his circumcision would have taken place on the eighth day of his life (which would be January 1). The Catholic Church has also given the name Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God to their holy day on January 1.

Specific, high-profile or common celebrations

    * On New Year's Day, people in certain countries gather on beaches and run into the water to celebrate the new year. Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States and Australia are the most popular countries for this. These events are sometimes known as polar bear plunges, and are sometimes organized by groups to raise money for charity. Polar Bear Clubs in many northern hemisphere cities near bodies of water, have a tradition of holding organized plunges on New Year's Day.
    * In Britain an extra round of football fixtures is played (unless New Year's Day falls on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday).
    * In Pasadena, California, United States, the Tournament of Roses is held, with revelers viewing the parade from the streets and watching on television, followed by the Rose Bowl college football game. The game is one of several postseason bowl games played in college football in the United States (though in 2004 and 2006, due to its involvement in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the Rose Bowl game was not held on New Year's Day).
    * Vienna New Year Concert, in Austria.
    * In Philadelphia, the Mummers Parade is held on Broad Street.
    * Hindu New Year, which falls at the time and date Sun enters Mesha.
    * Hindus celebrate the new year by paying respects to their parents and other elders and seek their blessings. They also exchange tokens of Good Wishes for healthy and prosperous year ahead.
    * The New Year's Day Parade is held in London. Performers include acts from each of the city's 32 boroughs, as well as entertainment from around the world.
    * Since 2008, the National Hockey League has held its annual Winter Classic, an outdoor regular season hockey game, on New Year's Day.
    * In the southern United States, people traditionally prepare a meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas for a year of good luck. A dime is often placed beneath the plate as a part of the tradition.
    * Ski jumping in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany, a part of the Four Hills Tournament.
    * In Pennsylvania and Ohio, mostly in or near Pennsylvania "Dutch" (Deitch/German) areas, it is common to celebrate New Year's Day with a meal of pork, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. The practice comes from a Pennsylvania "Dutch" tradition that dictates these foods will bring good luck in the new year.

Images associated with New Year's Day

In Brittany, a common image used is that of an incarnation of Father Time (or the "Old Year") wearing a sash across his chest with the previous year printed on it passing on his duties to the Baby New Year (or the "New Year"), an infant wearing a sash with the new year printed on it.

New Year's babies

People born on New Year's Day are commonly called New Year babies. Hospitals, such as the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center in the U.S., give out prizes to the first baby born in that hospital in the new year. These prizes are often donated by local businesses. Prizes may include various baby related items such as baby formula, baby blankets, diapers, and gift certificates to stores which specialize in baby related merchandise.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

JANUARY 1 - The Rose Parade

Tournament of Roses Parade

The Tournament of Roses Parade, better known as the Rose Parade, is the "America's New Year Celebration", a festival of flowers, music and equestrians and a college football game on New Year's Day, produced by the non-profit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association.

The annual parade was first held January 1, 1890 in Pasadena, California. Today, the Rose Parade is watched in person by hundreds of thousands of spectators on the parade route, and is broadcast on multiple television networks in the United States. It is seen by millions more on television worldwide in more than 200 international territories and countries. The Rose Bowl college football game was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of staging the parade.


Members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club first staged the parade in 1890. Since then the parade has been held in Pasadena every New Year's Day, except when Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday. In that case, it is held on the subsequent Monday, Jan. 2. This exception was instituted in 1893. According to the Tournament of Roses Association Web site, this "Never on Sunday" policy was instituted in order "to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services." Thus, the parade has never been held on a Sunday. Incidentally, the Rose Bowl Game is also not held on Sunday to avoid competing with the NFL. Other bowl games usually held on Jan. 1 also follow this rule.

Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club were former residents of the American East and Midwest. They wished to showcase their new California home's mild winter weather. At a club meeting, Professor Charles F. Holder announced, "In New York, people are buried in the snow. Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear. Let's hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise."

So the club organized horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches and a game of tug-of-war on the town lot that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. Upon seeing the scores of flowers on display, the professor decided to suggest the name "Tournament of Roses."

Over the next few founding years, marching bands and motorized floats were added. By 1895, the event was too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle, hence the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association was formed. By the 11th annual tournament (1900), the town lot on which the activities were held was re-named Tournament Park, a large open area directly adjacent to Pasadena's world-famous institution of higher learning, Caltech. Activities soon included ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and an odd novelty race between a camel and an elephant. (The elephant won the race.) Soon, reviewing stands were built along the parade route and newspapers in Eastern Seaboard cities started to take notice of the event.

Tournament House is the name given the building where the organization is headquartered. The Tournament House, a stately Italian Renaissance-style mansion, was once owned by William Wrigley Jr., the chewing gum magnate.

The first associated football game was played on Jan. 1, 1902. Originally titled the "Tournament East-West football game," it is considered to be the first Rose Bowl. The next game was not played until New Year's Day 1916, but they have been played annually since then. The game derives its modern name from Rose Bowl Stadium, which was built for the 1923 game.

In 2002 and 2006, when the Rose Bowl Game was the BCS National Championship Game, the "Granddaddy of 'em all" was not held the same day as the parade; the 2006 game was played on Jan. 4. Not all fans were pleased with the change; some thought the atmosphere and tradition of the Rose Bowl were lost. However, since the BCS title game is now separate from the host bowl, it will no longer affect the date of the Rose Bowl Game, even when the title game returns to Pasadena in 2010.


The Tournament of Roses Parade has followed the same route on Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena's main thoroughfare and a segment of the former US 66, for many decades. The day before the parade, the entire environs of the neighborhood streets are sealed off and reserved for the massive parade marshalling of the dozens of floats, bands, equestrian units and other elements. This staging area is referred to as the "formation area" and managed by the formation area committee.

On parade morning, the various elements are merged and dispatched in front of Tournament House. It starts by going north on South Orange Grove Boulevard, beginning at Ellis Street. At Colorado Boulevard it passes the grandstands, and the main television and media stands, and proceeds east on Colorado Boulevard. The parade then turns north on Sierra Madre Boulevard. The floats then must travel under the Sierra Madre Boulevard/I-210 freeway overpass, requiring the over-height floats to collapse to prevent crashing into the overpass. The parade ends at the "post parade" area when it crosses Paloma Street, by Victory Park and Pasadena High School. In total, this route is 51⁄2 miles (9 km) long; the assembled bands, horse units, and floats take approximately 2.5 hours to pass by.

Originally flower decorated horse carriages were entered in the parade. Floats, built by volunteers from sponsoring communities, supplanted most of the carriages over time. Currently, most are built by professional float building companies, and take nearly a year to construct. Some communities and organizational sponsors still rely on volunteers. The Valley Hunt Club still enters a flower decorated carriage. The Cal Poly Universities Rose Float still relies solely on students who volunteer.

Typically 48 to 72 hours prior to parade day one can view several of the floats being decorated with flowery mantles, in the various 'float barns' that dot the Arroyo Seco / Rose Bowl area in West Pasadena, not far from the start of the parade. It is a rule of the parade that all surfaces of the float framework be covered in natural material (such as flowers, plants, seaweeds, seeds, bark, vegetables, or nuts, for example); furthermore, no artificial flowers or plant material are allowed, nor can the materials be artificially colored. Last-minute volunteering opportunities are usually available.

Anaheim city's float at the 2008 Rose Bowl Parade included the Stanley Cup that the NHL's Anaheim Ducks had won last season, hoisted by player Brad May. (As the regulations state that the outside of the float must exclusively use organic material, ABC commentators speculated that the city got an exception to display the Cup.)

The 2009 parade featured 46 floats, including some new entries, such as Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau's Celebrating Alaska – Spirit of the Wild, Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc.'s Natural Entertainers, Jack in the Box's Jack-O-Licious, City of Mission Viejo's Making a Splash, RFD-TV's Hee Haw, City of Roseville's Entertaining Dreams for a Century, Vera Bradley's Hope Grows and the National Association of Realtors' Celebrating the Dream of Home Ownership for 100 Years.

Joining the 2010 parade will include Boy Scouts of America, Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, New Mexico Tourism Department, Phoenix Satellite Television (U.S.) Inc., Roundtable of Southern California/Shanghai World Expo., and Safety Harbor Kids.

After the parade, all the floats are 'parked' at the end of the parade route on Sierra Madre Blvd. and Washington Blvd., by Victory Park, and are on display for at least one and half days after the parade. None of the float riders and dignitaries / stars who rode on them are present. Admittance to the viewing used to be free, but a fee has been instituted in recent years.

For more on The Rose Parade, go to:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Parade
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

JANUARY 1 - The Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl Game

The Rose Bowl Game is an annual American college football bowl game, usually played on January 1 (New Year's Day) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for 95 years. When New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the game is then played on the following Monday. The Rose Bowl is nicknamed "The Granddaddy of Them All" because it is the oldest bowl game. It was first played in 1902, and continuously since 1916. Since 1945, it has been the highest attended college football bowl game. It is a part of the Tournament of Roses "America's New Year Celebration".

In 2002 and 2006 (2001 and 2005 seasons), the Rose Bowl game was also the BCS National Championship Game. In the current BCS alignment, the Rose Bowl will host the designated Big Ten and Pacific-10 conference representatives unless they are involved in the national championship game. Rose Bowl game representative teams from the Big Ten and Pacific-10 conferences are chosen by the specific rules for each conference. Tiebreaker rules exist when multiple teams tie for the conference championship.

Except in the years when the Rose Bowl served as the BCS National Championship Game, the Rose Bowl Game has continued to be played in the afternoon. (Starting with the 2006 season (2007 game), there has been a separate BCS National Championship Game.) In 2010, the Tournament of Roses will host the Citi BCS National Championship Game in a separate game to be held on January 7 at 5:00 PM (local time). The 96th Rose Bowl Game will be held on January 1, 2010.

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