The New Year is a time for reflection. We take a moment to pause and take stock of the year that has past, to remember our successes and to learn from our mistakes. It’s also a time for planning for the year ahead and for setting positive goals. With this in mind, we’ve gathered some of the most inspiring quotes to help you start your year off on the right foot and make the most of your fresh start. So read on and get inspired!
History of New Year
Although the timing of the new year has varied from culture to culture, the concept of a new beginning and a celebration to mark the turning of the year has been found in many cultures for centuries.
The first use of a January 1st start date for the New Year is attributed to the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, who created the Julian Calendar in 45BC. The Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 and remains in use in most countries today.
New Year’s Traditions
From Champagne-filled New Year’s eves to Lenten calendars, the world is full of unique New Year traditions. Here are just a few of the popular customs that people around the world use to mark the New Year:
• Kicking off the New Year in Scotland
Scotlands have a unique way of celebrating the New Year. On the stroke of midnight they welcome the New Year by banging drums and setting off fireworks. The celebration is thought to ward off evil spirits.
• Lenten Calendars
These calendars are popular in Latin America and the Caribbean. They date back to colonial times and feature religious images, such as a Virgin Mary or Jesus. Each day a window on the calendar is opened and it is believed that their prayers will be answered.
• Samba Dancing
The Brazilian New Year’s celebration is one to behold. It kicks off with the famous Samba Parade, which is a sensational display of samba music and costume. The parade is said to bring good luck to the New Year.
• Eating 12 Grapes
This odd New Year’s tradition is popular in Spain and parts of Latin America. As the clock counts down, participants eat one grape with each chime of the clock. Eating all of the grapes is said to bring 12 months of good luck.
• Banging Pots and Pans
In Ecuador, people celebrate the New Year by banging pots and pans. This raucous celebration is said to ward off evil spirits in the New Year.
• Loosen Your Belt
In Korea, people wear their tightest clothes on New Year’s Day as it is thought that this will bring good luck and prosperity. They also start the day by loosening their belt one notch to signify that the New Year should bring an end to any troubles.
• Sending Red Postcards
In China, red postcards are sent on New Year’s Day to wish each other good luck. Red is thought to be an auspicious color and these postcards are sent to friends and family as a way to start the Year of the Rooster on the right foot.
• A Spin Around the South
In Italy, another unique New Year’s tradition is spinning around the South while making a wish. It’s thought that by spinning around the South, the wish is more likely to come true.
• Kissing Under the Mistletoe
In Finland, one of the most popular New Year’s traditions is kissing family and friends under the mistletoe. It’s thought to bring luck to the New Year ahead.
• Happy New Year!
One of the most popular New Year’s traditions around the world is saying ‘Happy New Year!’. While this tradition may vary from country to country, it is a universal sign of goodwill for the coming year.
Inspiring Quotes for a Fresh Start
Quotes can be a great source of inspiration and motivation. So here are some of our favorite New Year, New Beginnings quotes to help start your year off with a positive note.
• “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
• “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.” – G.K. Chesterton
• “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce
• “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin
• “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey
• “Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” – Helen Keller
• “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” – Bill Vaughn
• “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Althouse
• “Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.” – Brooks Atkinson
• “The New Year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie
• “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie
• “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
• “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin
We hope these quotes have inspired you to make this a year of extraordinary possibilities and new beginnings. Put these words into action by setting positive goals and taking courageous steps toward them. Be motivated to do something great and have a happy new year.