Around 4,000 years ago, the Babylonians celebrated New Year’s with the eleven-day Akitu festival in March with each day holding a different game. By 46 B.C., Julius Caesar made January 1 the first day of the year in honor of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, as well as to get the calendar back in sync with the sun. The idea of New Year’s Resolutions was created when the Babylonians began to make promises mostly about paying of debts to the gods in hopes of earning good favor in the upcoming year.
There are several names and traditions for New Year. People in South America celebrate the new year by having bonfires to “burn out” the old year. In Australia, families head to the beach and have loud parties. Swedes greet each other with “Gott nytt år!” In a live broadcast, all of Sweden tunes in on their TV to the New Year’s Verse that’s read every new year. For Chinese New Year, kids get gifts of money and red, the symbol of good luck, is worn. San Francisco has a Chinese New Year Parade that travels into Chinatown with over 100 units, including floats and special units with the theme of the Chinese zodiac sign.
In modern days, people hope to do more than just pay off debts. Some Titans decided to do their best in everything. Grace Moon, a senior, says, “I want to be the best I can be and leave no regrets, leave no doubt.” Along the same lines, Sara Cathriner, a senior, wants to push past her personal limits and “be undeniable.” Brandon Anderson, a senior, wants to start a new chapter of life [i.e. college] right and Isaac Joanidis, a junior, wants to make better choices in life this year. Sophomore, David Spradlin, wants to lose weight and find something exciting this year.
Some of the most popular resolutions are related to health and education, like improving physical and mental well being or learning something new. Although these are the most common types of resolutions, other resolutions include personal and wealth goals, such as making new friends and saving money for the rest of the year. Popular resolutions people make are becoming more social, losing weight, thinking positively, and getting involved.
The rate of keeping resolutions is close to zero percent. Based on a survey by the University of Scranton, 75% of people can keep it up for the first week, but by the first month, only 64% are left, and at the 6-month mark, a mere 46%. Despite unsuccessful attempts, it is possible to keep a resolution. A good tip for keeping up with resolutions is to tell someone else about it. “My friend and I are partners, and we told each other our resolutions. “We’re going to keep each other on track to make it reachable,” Grace commented. Hannah added to this, “It’s really important for teens to set goals for themselves [so they can] keep on getting better every day. New Years resolutions help us do that.”