Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Eve and Day


Auld Lang Syne
The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days."

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne


The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. The tradition of making of New Year's resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians, The early Babylonian's most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

The day celebrated as New Year's Day in modern America was not always January 1. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.

The Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring), a logical time to start a new year. January 1, on the other hand, is purely arbitrary and has no astronomical or agricultural significance.. The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar, continually tampered with, became out of synchronization with the sun. To set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year.

4000 years later making New Year Resolutions remains a common tradition at the end of the year. Have you written yours yet? Don't forget to blog them to share with us.

Tips for our New English Learning / Teaching Year

Here are a number of great tips to help you improve your English learning or teaching in the
coming New Year. Choose a few tips for your own English New Year's Resolution.

What are the
odds of keeping the resolutions you make? 63 percent of the people questioned in a University of Washington survey were still keeping their number one 1997 New Year's resolution after two months. Of the people who successfully achieved their top resolution, only 40 percent of them did so on the first attempt. The rest made multiple tries, with 17 percent finally succeeding after more than six attempts.

Top 10 New Years Resolutions

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
2. Fit in Fitness
3. Lose Weight
4. Quit Smoking
5. Enjoy Life More
6. Quit Drinking
7. Get Out of Debt
8. Learn Something New
9. Help Others
10. Get Organized

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