New Year, New Me?

Jadyn Green

With the new year just beginning, curiosity struck of what other people do to celebrate new years.  Do they watch the famous h‘ball drop’ in New York? Or have a fireworks display? Its all different from person to person. For example in Spain they celebrate by eating grapes as they countdown to the new year. Everyone celebrates the new year in their own way. Many people also try to make new year’s resolutions but not all succeed. My question is what was it that started our celebrations? In my research I found out why.

According to, new year’s resolutions were first seen by ancient Babylonians who would have a twelve day religious festival where they would make promises to their gods in return for good luck in the next year. They also would pledge allegiance to the reigning king or pledge a new king during this time. This occurred usually around mid-march when the crops were planted. 

The calendar of the old world eventually fell out of cycle with the sun and Julius Caesar acquired the help of astronomers to make a calendar and set January 1st as the beginning of the year. 

New years resolutions and new years traditions were always kept as the start of a new year. Early Christians decided that the resolutions should be based on self improvement whereas the Babylonians offered promises of paying back their debts. These days not everyone makes resolutions. According to “estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year’s resolutions…University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.” This is surprising  as it is such a low number.

According to, On new years it is estimated that around 1 Billion people watch the ball drop in New york. The ball drop first became a thing when fireworks became illegal in 1907. An electrician devised a large wooden and iron ball to be filled with lights and dropped down a flagpole at midnight. The ball was originally 700 pounds but the one we know of today weighs 12,000 pounds. 

It’s crazy to see how our societal advances change the world yet we keep our values at heart and still celebrate through thousands of years.