All Is Not Quiet, on New Year’s Day…

Nothing says “Happy New Year, 2013” like an upright gal in a grass skirt!


It’s time again to make ambitious New Year’s resolutions you’ll probably break before Valentine’s Day. I’m not saying your well-intended goals aren’t good ones. It’s just… perhaps you’re putting too much pressure on your new year.

Rather than proclaiming you’ll lose 25 pounds, compete in your first Ironman Triathlon or write your New York Times bestseller of a novel, start your 2013 at a more moderate pace. Here, I’ll give you a wading pool in which to dip your pasty-white toes…

From Roman, to Julian, to Gregorian – Pick a Calendar: At various times in world history, New Year’s Day was December 25, March 25, and then January 1. You can thank your old pal (Roman) King Numa Pompilus for deciding to name the month of Januarius after Janus, the Roman god of doors, gates, and new beginnings.

Emperor Julius Caesar took it a step further and established January 1 as New Year’s Day in 46 B.C.E. when he introduced the Julian calendar to his not-so-loyal subjects.  This was before he needed to heed the Ides of March…

New Years Day – the Band: To my surprise, there’s a band from California (established in 2005) that dares to call itself New Years Day. They don’t use the possessive apostrophe in the middle word, so I guess that’s how they distinguish themselves. Currently, this band is signed to the Hollywood Waste record label and has a band member named Nikki Misery. Sid Vicious (RIP) and Johnny Rotten would approve!

New Year’s Day – the Song: Ah, this is more like it – an iconic song with heavy symbolism from a 1980s message-heavy album. But enough about Madonna’s Like a Prayer disc (joking). How many of you know that U2’s “fifth most frequently performed live song” was partially inspired by Poland’s Solidarity (Solidarnosc) labor union movement? A New Year’s shout-out to Lech Walesa and his famous mustache…

If It’s Tuesday in Philadelphia, Kiss Me, I’m a Mummer: One of America’s oldest traditions, the Mummers Parade became an annual event in 1901, and is bound to delight many adults (and scare a few children) on 1/1/13. In addition to the strutting and strumming divisions you might know and love (Comics, Wenches Brigades, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades), something new will debut for 2013.

Hold onto your ripped fishnet stockings and neon-hued sequins – a small Fancy Brigade of drag queens will take on Broad Street this year. Work it, ladies!

Whether Famous or Infamous, These Peeps Are New Year Babies: You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? Some who might have been deemed lucky babies include: Paul Revere (1735),  J. Edgar Hoover (1895), Xavier Cugat (1900), Barry Goldwater (1909), Idi Amin (1925), and Grandmaster Flash (1958 – still with us).

The island colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) broke away from its French masters the first day of 1804. E.M. Forster (1879) and J.D. Salinger (1919) were two New Year babies who made “initial” impressions.


What favorite bit of New Year’s trivia is rattling around inside your brain? Please feel free to give a shout-out to anyone you know celebrating another birthday today!

Lori Shapiro is the owner of By All Writes LLC, a business writing, editing, and research company in Marlton, New Jersey. She revels in shielding her clients from the pain of writing their own print and web marketing copy. Call her (856-810-9764) or email her ( for a no-obligation project quote today!

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