New Year’s CelebrationsBy Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / January 7, 2022
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With temperatures hitting the 70s in December, people tired of being shut in the house ventured out around Greensboro to celebrate the new incoming year. Parties were held at various local hotspots such as Boston’s House of Jazz on Arnold Street; George K’s on Cedar Fork Drive; and at the Khalif Event Center on E. Wendover Ave.
A holiday that has been celebrated for more than 4,000 years and meant to signal the birth of a new year, has transformed over time into some of the traditions we hold dear today.
Historically, while New Year’s resolutions focused on religious promises to deities and gods in order to ensure a good year, modern-day resolutions focus on promises to one’s self to either stop bad habits or start good ones. The tradition now symbolizes a focus on self-improvement, with people taking time to reflect on their goals.
Originating from traditional Scottish folk songs, in 1788, Scottish writer, Robert Burns sent the poem ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to the Scots Musical Museum, indicating that it was an ancient song but that he’d been the first to record it on paper. The phrase ‘auld lang syne’ roughly translates as ‘for old times’ sake’, and the song is all about preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year. Over time, the accompanying music has been tweaked to the version many people are accustomed to hearing today, which dates back to 1929.
Eating black eyed peas, cornbread and collard greens cooked with pork has been widely associated with being an American Southern tradition, however, food scholars have uncovered that their roots can be traced back to the meeting of West African and European traditions. It is said that folded green leaves resemble folded money and eating greens on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is believed to bring about greater financial prosperity. The peas are a promise of good luck, health and abundance throughout the New Year, to all who consumes this meal.
Other significant traditions include people celebrating on New Year’s Eve to end the night with a bottle of champagne and a kiss from a loved one at midnight.
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