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New Year’s Resolutions & Traditions

By: Mackenzie M. Padula, 1/5/2021
Front page of Boston Globe news paper, January 1, 1915. "All Smiles for 1915" continues to describe Boston's New Year's Eve celebration.
Front page of the Boston Globe News Paper, January 1, 1915

New Year’s Eve of 1914 would have been the first year that Tom and Olive celebrated the upcoming New Year at their Lucknow Estate, if they weren’t traveling abroad that winter. The Boston Globe is heavy on updates from the war front, and sprinkled with advertisements for Champagne, ale, and New England Telephone rates for you to call your loved ones and wish them a happy New Year! In the 1910s, it was common to celebrate the New Year with parties and midnight toasts to the New Year. It was good luck to enjoy circular foods – symbolic of a year coming full circle – and to kiss someone at the stroke of midnight.

Fast-forward to New Year’s Eve in 1919 – the parties continue! Both The New York Times and The Boston Globe describe alcohol-fueled parties, attended by both Father Time and Baby New Year. This is a stark contrast to New Year’s Eve in 1920 when prohibition was in effect in the U.S., barring the sale of alcohol. The New York Times described this night as “the dullest New York has ever seen” with sober crowds filling out Times Square to watch the ball drop.

There is also the age-old tradition of reflection and resolutions. These traditions are believed to date back to 2000 BCE in Babylonia, and are seen throughout history: in the time of Julius Caesar in Rome, January 1 was determined to be the start of the new year (in 46 BCE), and was named Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings and transitions. This day and month was a time to reflect on the previous year and name your goals and resolutions for the new year. In the mid-1700s, Christianity adopted similar traditions, some sectors even hosting a Convent Renewal Service – a New Year’s Eve night service spent praying and making resolutions for the New Year.

Today these traditions remain largely intact. When we can host parties, we generally do. Often alcohol and snacks are shared, and a champagne toast and a kiss seal the night. Many still take this time to reflect on the previous year and make resolutions and goals to themselves for the upcoming year. 2020 was most definitely a year for the books – the pandemic, the continued conversations and heated conflicts surrounding racial inequalities, Brexit was finalized, Australia faced one of its most devastating wildfires, and so much more. Looking towards this new year, we hope for a more “normal” year in terms of operations, to be open for a full season, to bring you many programs and opportunities to enjoy the Castle and our property, and we are excited to see you in 2021!

How did you ring in 2021? What are some goals or resolutions you have set for yourself?

Here are a couple of downloadable, New Year’s Resolution Goal Sheets:

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Winter dining and snowmobile access to the Carriage House are not available this winter. Click here to learn about other ways to enjoy the trails!
Please be sure to read this note on our limited hiker parking.

Winter dining and snowmobile access to the Carriage House are not available this winter. Click here to learn about other ways to enjoy the trails!
Please be sure to read this note on our limited hiker parking.