Happy New Year from the Sentinel!


happy new year

We wish you all a very Happy and Blessed New Year with beautiful moments, treasured memories, and all you love you can handle. Remember, the best is yet to come.

Celebrating the new year on January 1st is a fairly recent occurrence. The first new year celebration was in Mesopotamia about 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox in mid-March.

The Greeks celebrated the winter solstice.

The Romans designated March 1 as the new year. They had a ten month calendar.

The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. The month of January did not exist until around 700 B.C. when the 2nd king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added January and February. The new year was the beginning of the civil year when the highest Roman officials began their tenure.

In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar introduced the new Julian calendar and decreed that the new year would occur January 1.

It was abolished in medieval Europe as pagan and unchristian. The new year became December 25th in many places.

It was restored in 1582 with the Gregorian calendar. Catholics accepted right away and the Protestants  gradually adopted it.

The most commonly sung song for English-speakers on New Year’s eve is ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ It is an old Scottish song first published by poet Robert Burns.

It is often referred to as the most popular song that nobody knows the lyrics to.

Auld Lang Syne:

The literal translation of Auld Lang Syne is ‘old long since’ and means ‘times gone by.’ It asks whether old friends and times will be forgotten and promises to remember people of the past fondly – ‘we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet.’

The theme laments how friends who once used to run about the hills and pulled up the daisies and paddled in the stream from morning to dusk have become  divided by time and distance. Yet there is always time for old friends to get together – if not in person then in memory.

It was Guy Lombardo who made the song into a New Year’s tradition. Life magazine wrote that until Guy Lombardo played the song, it couldn’t be the new year.

Lombardo heard the song for the first time in his hometown of London, Ontario where it was sung by Scottish immigrants. He and his brothers and the Royal Canadians made the song one of their standards.

He played the song at midnight at a New Year’s eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929 and our tradition began.

Auld Lang Syne Translation

Meaning of unusual words:
Auld lang syne = Former days and friends
jo = dear
stowp = tankard
gowans = daisies
braid = broad
Guid-willie waught = friendly draught

Here is the “translation” into modern English. There is no doubt that Burns did it better!

Days Long Ago
Should old acquaintances be forgotten
And never be remembered?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten
and days long ago.

For days long ago, my dear,
For days long ago
We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet
For days long ago!

And surely you’ll have your pint tankard
And surely I’ll have mine.
And we’ll drink a cup of kindness yet
For days long ago.


We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine
But we’ve wandered many a weary mile
Since the days long ago.


We two have paddled in the stream
From morning sun till dinner-time
But the broad seas have roared between us
Since the days long ago.


And here’s my hand, my trusty friend,
And give me your hand too,
And we will take an excellent good-will drink
For the days of long ago

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