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НазваAmerican Holidays and Traditions (реферат)
РозділІноземна мова, реферати англійською, німецькою
ФорматWord Doc
Тип документуРеферат
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American Holidays and Traditions




It's Another New Year... (January 1)


...but for what reason?


"Happy New Year!" That greeting will be said and heard for at least the

first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way. But the day

celebrated as New Year's Day in modern America was not always January 1.





The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was

first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years

around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon

(actually the first visible cresent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day

of spring).


The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After

all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of

blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor

agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.


The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had

its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that

modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.


The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their

calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the

calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.


In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC,

declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering

continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be

known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new

year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had

to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.




Although in the first centuries AD the Romans continued celebrating the

new year, the early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as

paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church

began having its own religious observances concurrently with many of the

pagan celebrations, and New Year's Day was no different. New Years is

still observed as the Feast of Christ's Circumcision by some



During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New

Years. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for

only about the past 400 years.




Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year's

resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians.

Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or

quit smoking. The early Babylonian's most popular resolution was to

return borrowed farm equipment.


The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, members

of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers. It

celebrated the ripening of the orange crop in California.


Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the

Tournament of Roses in 1902, it was replaced by Roman chariot races the

following year. In 1916, the football game returned as the sports

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