Saturday, January 10, 2009

The History of New Year Resolutions

To all of our Spectrum Friends, Happy New Year!
Last Year We posted this clipping and wanted to share it with you all this year again...

The first day of a calendar year is one of the world’s oldest holidays. The Babylonians are known to have celebrated the new year approximately 4,000 years ago, and this ancient civilization is credited by some with originating an annual tradition still going strong: The New Year’s resolution. The first day of a the Babylonian year was considered to be March 23rd, and a common Babylonian New Year’s resolution was their custom of returning something borrowed from a friend over the course of the previous year.

The Romans used a different calendar and named the first month of the year after the mythical figure of Janus, a symbol of beginnings and endings, whose two faces allow him to look both forward and backward in time. The Romans celebrated the coming of the new year on January 1st by exchanging gifts, and had their own version of the tradition of resolution-making begun by the Babylonians. A common resolution in ancient Rome was to seek forgiveness from enemies of previous years.

The Chinese New Year, which falls at the time of the first full moon after the sun enters Aquarius (late January through mid-February), has also been celebrated for thousands of years. Among the many customs associated with the Chinese New Year is housecleaning, frequently found today on lists of the most common New Year’s resolutions worldwide.
At Spectrum Art & Jewelry we carry the work of Norah Pierson. Her jewelry is Greco-Roman inspired with pre-Columbian motifs. The imagery of prancing horses, maltese crosses, and ancient shells adorne Norah's pieces. Her jewelry encompasses the same feeling, emotion, and decoration found on jewelry 4,000 years ago in Babylonian times. Stop in today to see her work.

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