New Year...New ?
It's a brand new year!
A time to make resolutions, a time for a fresh start, a time to reflect and move forward.
New Year's Celebrations...When Did It Begin?
The tradition of celebrating the start of each new year has been occurring for at least the past four millenniums. Our celebrations start on December 31 and carry into January 1, but that has not always been the norm. The earliest New Year's Celebrations have been recorded to about 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. The Babylonians celebrated the new year on the day of the first full moon following the vernal equinox. This day (occurring in late March) is significant, because the amount of sunlight and darkness were equal. The occasion was marked with a large religious festival called Akitu. This celebration lasted for 11 days, with each day partaking in a different ritual. A new king was also crowned during this celebration.
As more civilizations developed more sophisticated calendars, they began their new year based on an agricultural or astronomical event. Egypt's new year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, and the Chinese new year began with the second new moon after the winter solstice.
When Did January 1 Become New Year's Day?
The early Roman Calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days. However, throughout time the calendar fell out of sync with the sun. In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar consulted astronomers and mathematicians and introduced the Julian Calendar. This calendar closely resembles the one's we use today. He also declared that January 1 would be the first day of the year. This is where some of our traditions begin. The new year was represented by Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. The Romans would offer sacrifices to Janus, exchange gifts, decorate their homes, and attend outlandish parties. Medieval Europe tried to replace January 1 with days that carried more religious significance (December 25 and March 25), but Pope Gregory XII reestablished New Year's Day on January 1 in 1582.
New Year's Traditions
People around the world celebrate New Year's by enjoying special dishes that are meant to bring good luck. In Spain, people eat a dozen grapes right before midnight. In many countries, people feast on legumes, such as black-eyed peas. These symbolize coins and are consumed in hopes of bringing future financial success. Additionally, across the world people watch fireworks and partake in ceremonial ball drops. It appears though that one of biggest traditions of the new year, that spans across a multitude of cultures is to make New Year's Resolutions.
Lose Weight....Improve Finances....Exercise More!
Most resolutions center around the same 3 topics. Real Estate Resolutions should be no different. When you are making your New Year's Resolutions, it is also a good time to reflect on your current Real Estate Situations.
Lose Weight: Has your property been on the market longer than a year? Is it time to cut some of the fat out of the listing price? Now might be a good time to lose a little weight in the asking price.
Improve Finances: Is your home vacant? Are you getting any kind of income for your home on the market? Now may be a good time to either rent the property out or get it sold.
Exercise More: Has your property been with the same agent for a lengthy amount of time? Is your agent bugging you to lower the price? If not you may need to exercise your options.