Monday, December 29th

New Year: Some Fascinating Facts

While the turning of the old year to the new year was celebrated as far back in human history as ancient Babylon, it took the famous Roman, Julius Caesar, and his reconciliation of the calendar to appoint January 1 as New Year’s Day — thus deeming December 31 as New Year’s Eve, a night of parties and celebration world-wide in our modern age.

Here are a few fascinating facts about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to mull over before the end of 2014.

The very first celebration of New Year’s Eve in New York City’s Times Square took place in 1904—a huge, street-wide party to celebrate the opening of the newspaper, the New York Times.

The first ceremonial ball dropping to mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new happened in New York City in 1908 due to fireworks being banned because of the fire hazard.

Auld Lang Syne is sung by celebrants around the globe as the traditional New Year’s Eve song, but while the words written by Robert Burbs hasn’t changed, the tune has. The melody of the original Scottish folk tune changed around 1860.

In the late 19th century, champagne became the favorite celebratory drink for New Year’s parties not only of the wealthy, but of the comfortable middle class who could afford to splurge on special occasions.

Greeting Card Universe thanks its artists, friends, family and supporters for a wonderful 2014 and wishes everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015! Check our the special deals on one of a kind New Year’s cards to send your own personal wishes out to all your peeps. Order on-line, get a great deal, and we’ll mail your cards the next business day.

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Monday, December 30th

Welcoming the New Year

The people of different countries and cultures ring in the New Year in ways that may seem unusual or bizarre, but make just as much sense as any other tradition. Here are a few different customs that are far away from the familiar old counting down to midnight and waiting for a big ping pong ball to drop in the USA.

In Ireland, giving your house a thorough cleaning before New Year’s Eve is supposed to give you a fresh start to the next twelve months.  However, on the night itself, some Irish whack a loaf of Christmas bread on the doors and walls to drive out the bad luck, leaving plenty of room for helpful spirits to come inside.

In Johannesburg, South Africa’s Hillbrow district, the New Year’s Eve custom of flinging heavy household goods like sofas, refrigerators, beds, etc. from the windows and balconies of tall buildings (and firing guns and aiming fireworks at other buildings) has caused injuries in the past.

In Denmark, it’s customary to save old dishes such as plates, but not for any ordinary upcycling.  On New Year’s Eve, people go to the houses of friends  to hurl the dishes onto their thresholds. It’s good luck to find a pile of smashed dishes by your front door in the morning.

Whatever traditions you follow to celebrate the New Year, Greeting Card Universe’s diverse collection of New Year’s cards will help you send your best wishes to all your friends and family. Need a card in a hurry? Order on-line, get free in-store pickup at most Target and Bartell Drug stores.

We wish all the best to you and your family in the coming year!

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Sunday, December 30th

New Year’s Resolutions

Around the world and throughout history, many civilizations have observed celebrations for the New Year. The oldest recorded festivities were held in Babylon 4,000 years ago. Today, countries around the globe mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new on December 31, New Year’s Eve.

In America, it’s customary to watch fireworks, attend parties, count down the minutes to the New Year with friends and family, watch the ball drop in Times Square, sing “Auld Lang Syne,” and make resolutions, of course. The  most popular resolutions have to do with self improvement like losing weight or quitting smoking.

When did this particular custom begin? Once again, it’s the ancient Babylonians we can thank for this annual tradition. To start the new year right, they made promises to the gods to do things like return borrowed tools and pay their debts. Sound familiar?  Romans continued the idea, and the tradition has remained part of New Year celebrations down to the 21st century.

If a friend or loved one has made a New Year’s resolution – whether to get organized, eat less, or take on the serious challenge of battling an addiction – make sure to offer your help. Let them know they’re not alone. Our collections of Addiction Recovery cards and Recovery Encouragement cards will send your warmest, most heartfelt messages of support where they’re needed most.

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