Happy New Year!
Welcome, adventurers, to the Treasure Trails New Year's Day Club! You're here because you've made a cracking start to the year and solved a Treasure Trail! Membership of this exclusive club brings kudos! Plus, permission to be a little bit smug that you've started the year off with an adventure instead of sat in front of the telly!
Great work! It's now time to relax, sit back and discover all sorts of amazing New Year's Day facts and feats...
When in Rome...
Did you know that January 1st was celebrated as New Year's Day for the first time 4000 years ago? Way back in 45 BCE, Julius Caesar made some crazy changes to the Roman calendar... and voila! Ancient Roman's celebrated with offerings and sacrifices for the god Janus - can you see how January got its name? They’re also credited with originating the New Year's kiss, a tradition from their December Saturnalia festival. Our festive season could look very different without them!
When is New Year not on New Year?
Not everyone celebrates New Year’s on January 1st. In Chinese and East Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year is celebrated in either late January or early February (this year, Chinese New Year falls on February 1st and rings in the Year of the Tiger). The Balinese and Iranian New Year’s celebrations fall in March (Bali’s Nyepi Day on the 14th and Iran’s Nowruz on the 20th), while Diwali - the Festival of Lights - falls later in the year in October, marking the start of the new year for the Marwari and Gujarati communities.
Talk about ringing in the New Year!
At midnight on January 1st 2022, there's a song that will have been playing for 22 years straight... and it's barely started! The Longplayer is a 1,000-year-long musical composition that was set off at the beginning of the millennium and, most incredibly, will never repeat! The clever setup uses singing bowls and can be listened to worldwide on a live stream; plus, if you're out on an adventure in London, you might be able to see it for yourself! Check out visiting information here.
Choose your undies wisely!
When we say "New Year's traditions", what springs to mind? Midnight countdown? Auld Lang Syne? Resolutions? Well, every country and culture around the world has different traditions to bring luck and prosperity. Over in Denmark, they quite literally jump into the new year by hopping off a chair at midnight! In other countries, picking your outfit is important - in Brazil, white is worn, in the Philippines it's polka dots, and in some South American countries, it's the colour of your underwear that’s important (yellow for wealth, red for romance, white for peace)!
Fresh starts and new beginnings
We might make resolutions and start new challenges on January 1st, but it has also been an important day for a number of historical events. Here at TT, we love a new discovery, so we think it’s pretty awesome that on January 1st 1925, the renowned astronomer announced that there are galaxies beyond our Milky Way. It’s also the day that, in 1801, the United Kingdom was formed; in 1818, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was published (although, anonymously); and in 1896, X-rays were introduced for the first time! What awesome way will you spend your New Year’s Day?
Remember to wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Over in Belgium, Walloon and Flemish farmers get up early to wish a Happy New Year to all the animals on the farm. So if you're heading out on January 1st for a nice wintery walk, make sure you wish any furry or feathery friends you spot a Happy New Year! You *probably* won't get a response – apart from some inquisitive looks – but you never know, it could bring you luck!