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Off topic: Happy new year
Thread poster: Maria Luisa Duarte

Maria Luisa Duarte  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:33
English to Portuguese
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Dec 28, 2006

Dear friends!

I wish you and your family a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2007!! Best regards

How it all started out..........

The day celebrated as New Year in the modern world was not always on January 1st.
The holiday for the celebration of the New Year is among the oldest of all holidays in the world. It was first observed in ancient Babylon, about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 B.C, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the vernal equinox or the first day of spring since it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops and of blossoming. Even today, most communities celebrates two new years, one that of English, the other pertaining to their own.

The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but various emperors continually tampered with their calendar so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.
In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 B.C, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 B.C, established the Julian calendar. It again established Jan1 as the New Year. But in order to synchronies the calendar with sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days!!!

Although in the first centuries of A.D the Romans continued celebrating the New Year, the early Catholic Church condemned as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread the early Church began having it's own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Years' Day was no different. New Year's Day is still observed as the Feast of Christ's Circumcision by some denomination.

During the middle ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New year.January1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years or so.
Traditions like making of New Year's Resolutions also date back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking but the most popular resolution in early Babylonia was to return borrowed farm equipment!

In most countries that follow the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Day is a public holiday (countries like the US, UK, and Canada) Israel and India are an exception. In New York City the world famous Waterford crystal ball located high above Times Square is lowered starting at 11:59:00 PM and reaches the bottom of its lower t the stroke of midnight(12:00:00 AM) on January 1. Other Ball Drops take place in Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro and Sydney Harbor and at the Vienna New Year Concert, in Austria. This day is also the occasion of making bonfires of discarded Christmas trees in some countries.

In Scotland, there are many special customs associated with the New Year. The Scottish name for the New Year celebration is Hogmanay. In US the New Year is associated with the image of an old Father Time with a sash leaving proclaiming the Old Year as an infant enters with a New Year sash.
New Years Eve is a separate observance from New year's Day.

In 20th century Western practice, the celebration involves partying until the wee hours of the morning drinking champagne and making merry with loved ones. New Year's Eve is a public non working holiday in US, UK, Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, Argentina, Germany, Philippines and Venezuela. Sydney is a crowd puller in New Year's Eve celebration of over 1.2 million people! Over 80.000 fireworks are traditionally set off from the Sydney Harbor Bridge and four other firing points covering 6 km along Sydney Harbor. The event attracts an average of 30,000 international tourists each year.

In Hong Kong people usually gather in Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui harbour front and to count down the New Year at spots like the Times Square and Ocean Terminal.
The Big Ben in London is the key to the New Year Celebrations. Around 100,000 spectators gather around Honmanay Street party in Edinburgh, with fireworks being set off from the castle and other major hills around the city. London Eye is also among other famous places that displays spectacular fireworks.

The moment of midnight is marked by the sound of Big Ben in UK ; The traditional song, Auld Lang Syne sung in first moments of the New Year , after the final stroke of the of the bell ;The dropping of the "ball" on top of One Times Square in New York City, being broadcast world wide ; The launching of fireworks in Seattle towards the space needle until it reaches the top at midnight does the countdown. In Spain a centenary clock is lowered starting at 23:59:48 at 'La Puerto del Sol' while a grape is eaten for each second left to the New Year...,as several hundred thousand people party, the New year arrives with new hopes of peace love and prosperity on our way...

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Local time: 18:33
English to Urdu
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Thank you Dec 29, 2006

Thanks a lot for the greetings. I also wish the same for you that may God bring you and your family health, hapiness and prosperity during the new rear.

A very nice research that you have posted which is an increase in our knowledge about the holidays of new year.


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William [Bill] Gray  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:33
Member (2006)
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Happy New Year... Dec 29, 2006

Here's to all our friends, colleagues, collaborators, clients and others, that 2007 may be a year of success, peace and progress in those areas of our lives which mean most to us.


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:33
Spanish to English
A Guid New Year Dec 30, 2006

I would like to wish all translators/interpreters a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. I am a Scot originally from Edinburgh.

Why Scots celebrate New Year.

It may not be widely known but Christmas was not celebrated as a festival and virtually banned in Scotland for around 400 years, from the end of the 17th century to the 1950s. The reason for this has its roots in the Protestant Reformation when the Kirk portrayed Christmas as a Catholic feast and therefore was banned. Many Scots had to work over Christmas and their winter solstice holiday was therefore at New Year when family and friends gathered for a party and exchange presents, especially for the children, which came to be called Hogmanay.

There are many theories about the derivation of the word "Hogmanay". The Scandinavian word for the feast preceding Yule was "Hoggo-nott" while the Flemish words (many have come into Scots) "hoog min dag" means "great love day". Hogmanay could also be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon, Haleg monath, Holy Month, or the Gaelic, oge maidne, new morning. But the most likely source seems to be the French. "Homme est né" or "Man is born" while in France the last day of the year when gifts were exchanged was "aguillaneuf" while in Normandy presents given at that time were "hoguignetes".

"It is ordinary among some Plebians in the South of Scotland, to go about from door to door upon New Year`s Eve, crying Hagmane."
Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence, 1693.

An integral part of the Hogmanay partying, which continues very much today, is to welcome friends and strangers, with warm hospitality and of course a kiss to wish everyone a Guid New Year. The underlying belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note.
"First footing" (that is, the "first foot" in the house after midnight) is still common in Scotland. To ensure good luck for the house, the first foot should be male, dark (believed to be a throwback to the Viking days when blond strangers arriving on your doorstep meant trouble), and should bring symbolic coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and whisky. These days, however, whisky and perhaps shortbread are the only items still prevalent (and available).

Thanks to for the information.

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