The practice of observing the New Year can be traced to the Babylonians nearly 4,000 years ago, and since then, numerous countries have adopted the tradition.
Haitians adorn themselves in new clothing and swap gifts with loved ones to symbolize the beginning of a new year. The Norwegians make rice pudding with one almond somewhere in the dessert; whoever receives the serving containing the almond is guaranteed prosperity in the new year, the Spanish eat 12 grapesÂ – one to symbolize luck for each month of the year.
One of the most familiar practices is declaring New Year’s resolutions – goals an individual sets for him or herself to accomplish in the New Year.
Some might say, “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” According to statistics, this anonymous quote is close to the truth. The Miami Herald reported almost 97 percent of New Year’s resolutions are never fulfilled. However, the same article stated 40 to 45 percent of Americans make yearly resolutions in hopes of improving their lives. The Franklin Covey Products New Year’s Resolution Survey for 2010 listed the following as the top three resolutions for this year: improve one’s financial situation; lose weight; or develop a healthy habit such as healthy eating and exercise.