New Year’s Eve: A Brief History

by: Davis Yancy Clegg


Happy New Year from Amelia River Cruises


With the holiday season on its’ way out, there is still one hooray left to be had. That’s right! A new year has come upon us once again. Officially the last day on the Gregorian calendar, parties all over the USA are held to welcome the next chapter on New Year’s Eve. The first recorded celebration was around 2000 B.C. While you can’t call it an official federal holiday, it definitely is a favorite among citizens looking to have a solid night out on the town! Although this event has been recognized for nearly four millennia, it has not always been a celebration held on December 31. Long ago, it was celebrated in mid- March upon the vernal equinox. The early Roman calendar did not include the first two months we know now as January and February.

It began with March, and was only a 10 – month year. Throughout the course of history, January and February were eventually added. Consequently, January 1 was declared as the updated mark of a turning year. In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a major improvement on the ancient Roman calendar. The Roman’s attempt was based on a lunar cycle that had become wildly inaccurate with each rotation. The Julian calendar declared that each year would now begin to be celebrated on January 1st. That was all fine and dandy. Well, at least for a few centuries. Those in medieval Europe did not agree with the traditions begun by the Julian calendars reign. They found the celebrations held over the years past to be ritualistic, and of the pagan variety. In 567 AD, January 1 – as the new year mark – was decidedly abolished. A full millennium later, the Gregorian calendar came about. And in 1582, January 1 had regained its’ title as the first of the year.

With all of the options at your disposal for celebrating the New Year’s Eve, the hotspot on the island this year will be located downtown very near our ticket office. Performances by the Decades Band and by yours truly will be taking place at a reasonable time for everyone to enjoy. Those festivities will begin around 5:30pm. The Shrimp Drop will be a spectacle for the entire family. At the closing of ceremonies, fireworks and stops along the downtown watering holes will be all the rage. Some venues have exclusive parties. Reserve your table at your favorite spot downtown, and settle in for a night of fun and renewal as we ring in 2017 together! While fun is definitely a top priority, safety beats it out by a notch or two. If you are enjoying adult beverages while singing along with Auld Lang Sine, please have a designated driver amongst your group. We want everyone to have a great time and wake up to a great start on 2017.


Make those reservations and make those resolutions.
It’s going to be a great year!


We at ARC wish to extend our best wishes and pray each of you have a Happy, Healthy and Wealthy New Year!


We look forward to cruise with you in 2017.  Make your reservations today!






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