New Year..New Beginnings
Some 4,000 years ago the people of Babylon are said to be the first people to make New Years resolutions and were also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honour of their new year. They didn’t celebrate this as we do on the First Day of January, but in Mid March when they planted their new crops. Their celebration was named ‘Akitu, and this was a 12 day religious festival when they acknowledged their loyalty and worship to their reigning King. During this period, they made personal promises to ‘The Gods’ to return any items they had borrowed, repay any ongoing debts, and resolve any issues, these being their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. It was thought that if they honoured this, they would ‘have a clean slate’, and be in favour of ‘The Gods’, as they would not want to upset or dis-please their Gods, as this was not a good position to be in!
In 46 B.C, it was Julius Caesar who established January First as the beginning of a New Year, as January had a special significance for The Romans. The Romans believed Janus (the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches) symbolically looked backwards into the previous year and ahead into the future. The Romans made personal promises on January first to look ahead and improve their next Year and turn their back on the last!
For early Christians, making New Years Resolutions became tradition on 1st January – a day to reminisce of the mistakes of the past year and make steps to make changes for resolve in the New Year!
In 1740, an English clergyman John Wesley, founder of Methodism, created the Covenant Renewal Service, most commonly held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. During the service, the New Year was celebrated with Prayers, Hymns, and scriptures, and many services are still popular within many spiritual congregations.
Today, New Years Eve is a cause for celebration – new party dresses, Dinner Dances at popular venues, house parties with Champagne popping at the strike of 12, each celebration welcoming in The New Year! Today, many Countries around the world welcome in the New Year with their own ‘twist’ on Celebration…. ‘Hogmanay’ in Scotland, Ringing of The Bells 108 Times in Japan, in Spain it is customary to eat 12 grapes – one at each stroke of 12 …. Each country welcoming in the first day of January in their own culture…
We welcome in The New Year and set our intentions with our own personal resolutions… Here’s the top resolutions we usually set:-
Lose weight and get fit
Learn a new skill or hobby
Get out of debt and save money
Travel to new places
Be less stressed
Find another job
Drink less alcohol
Spend more time with family and friends
However, unfortunately it is said that approximately 80% fail to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions, and lose their resolve by mid-February, this is rather unbelievable, so, try and set yourself a realistic resolution with a goal that is achievable…. Don’t set the bar too high and aim for measurable realistic small changes!
Good Luck with whatever Resolutions you make, and a Happy New Year is wished for you!
We hope you enjoy your New Year – love and blessings
Ally and Allumi Team…xxxx