Holiday traditions

Published 9:05 am Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Society and culture are filled with traditions. Everything from widespread cultural traditions to family traditions — they seem to be endless. One such subset of traditions is, of course, the holiday tradition. Numerous in and of themselves, they are exercised without fail by millions of people all around the globe.

These holiday traditions are such a part of society that nobody thinks about their genesis. One such tradition is the New Year’s resolution.

Every year people make (and break) their resolutions and discuss them with friends, family and co-workers. The purpose of a resolution to make changes in your life to better yourself and move forward and according to an article on, some form of the New Year’s resolution has been in existence since ancient Babylonia, 4,000 odd years in the past.

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The Babylonians were the first to keep record of celebration of the new year — only their year began in March when they planted their crops. The new year celebration is said to have been 12 days where a king was crowned and gods were prayed to in order to bring good fortune to the year ahead.

The ancient Romans where the ones who began the new year in January. Julius Caesar implemented this new calendar in honor of the god Janus, who is said to be symbolic of looking both ahead into the future and back into the past at the same time.

Early Christianity saw the new year as a way of reflecting on past sins and errors and focusing on correcting them moving forward.

In today’s modern times, the religious origins of the New Year’s resolution has become mostly non-religious and is more focused on self-improvement than anything else. According to research cited in the article, 45 percent of Americans say they make New Year’s resolutions. Of that percentage, only 8 percent or so claim to stick with the resolution throughout the year.

Information for this article found at