What we think: New year, old traditions

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It’s another new year, but what does that mean to you? For many, it means a time to change by making resolutions. It means a time of tradition with that big family dinner with all the trimmings.

The celebration of New Year is one of the oldest of all holidays, first observed in ancient Babylon around 2000 B.C., where it began with the first new moon after the vernal equinox. The celebration lasted for 11 days.

The current New Year’s Day was set by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., when he set what came to be known as the Julian Calendar. In order to set the new year on Jan. 1, Caesar had to let the previous year drag for 445 days.

Each culture and era celebrates the new year in a different and special way.

In our culture, it’s customary to make New Year’s resolutions. Popular resolutions include losing weight, paying off debt and saving money. The early Babylonian’s most popular resolution was to return loaned farm equipment, according to www.wilstar.com.

New Year’s Day is also celebrated with the Rose Bowl and that big feast of black-eyed peas, fatback or ham and some sort of greens, such as turnip greens or cabbage, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne,” a poem by Robert Burns. The lyrics to the song express many of the traditions of the new year.

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?

And here’s a hand, my trusty friend,

And gie’s a hand o’ thine,

We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.”

“Auld lang syne” loosely translated means “days gone by.”

For Kannapolis, those days gone by are the days of Pillowtex and Fieldcrest Cannon. While those days are gone, they won’t be forgotten and the new Kannapolis will hold many things for the future of its citizens.

“Auld Lang Syne” holds truer for Kannapolis now than it ever has before. This new year, when you are celebrating, however you are celebrating, let’s not forget the Kannapolis of old — nor the Kannapolis of the future.

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