New Year's Day Traditions

New Year's Day is celebrated around the world. It has been regularly celebrated and recognized as a holiday for about 400 years. Here are some of the most common New Year's Day traditions. Try one, or invent one of your own this year!

The Tournament of Roses Parade
This parade began as a celebration of the orange crop ripening in California. It began in 1886 by the Valley Hunt Club, who had carriages full of flowers for all to see. Hence the name is a reference to those floral decked carriages. The parade takes place in Pasadena, California. It is now broadcast internationally, and features marching bands, trained horses, and beautiful floral floats. It begins at 8 am on New Year's Day.

The Rose Bowl Football Game
This is a football game between selected college football teams. It began in 1902 and watching the game has become a traditional New Year's afternoon pastime for many Americans.

New Year's Baby
In some cities, the first baby born on New Year's Day - at as close to midnight as possible - is featured on the front page of the newspaper as the New Year's baby. Of course, babies are a symbol of rebirth, new beginnings, and all around cuteness and hope. The tradition may have started as early as 600 BC with the Greeks, and was brought to the US by the Germans around the fourteenth century.

Polar Swim
In some cold cities, a New Year's swim in the local lake has become traditional for people wishing to show off their fortitude. This involves going to the local lake, usually with winter temps of around 30 degrees F., and taking the plunge into the water, splashing around a bit, and then getting out before hypothermia sets in.

New Year's resolutions
Many people traditionally make plans for ways in which they hope to improve their life on New Year's Day. It's often the first day of a new diet, new fitness plan, or stopping a bad habit. New Year's Resolutions traditionally tend to last a couple of months, but those who really mean them might be successful longer! Good luck!

Good luck foods, symbols, parties and wishes
Many people have or attend parties, to begin the New Year at exactly 12 midnight, wishing each other a happy one, toasting with champagne, watching the crystal ball drop in New York City and counting down the seconds until it begins, and sharing a kiss at that moment. Singing "Auld Lang Syne" is also traditional. Round foods, rice and black beans are sometimes good luck foods eaten on New Years.

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