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Ancient New Year celebrations

When did people begin to host New Year parties?

Ancient Egyptians celebrated New Year when the Nile River overflowed, usually in June. Then someone suggested, “If we change New Year to January, we won’t drown coming home from the party.”

Early Romans named their celebration for Janus, a deity with two faces. One face looked backward, the other forward.

Today, we also reflect on the past, and plan for the future. But we no longer have two faces, because the one in back is too hard to shave.

Another New Year’s custom was chimney cleaning. This meant participants planned to “clean up” their faults, and strive to do better the next year.

Sadly, a few zealous cleaners toppled down the chute into the fireplace below. This was called “coming down with the flue.”

The Druids celebrated the New Year on March 1. Unfortunately, that was two months late for bowl games.

But remember, these were ancient civilizations, and they did not yet worship football.

 

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