London New Year Parade 2013

Half a million people lined London’s streets to watch a New Year parade to thank Olympic volunteers including 400 Games Makers from the Olympics who were the guests of honour. Organisers said more than 500,000 people watched the parade which signalled the end of a year that saw London host the Olympic and Paralympic Games and Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Parade made its way past some of the capital’s best-known landmarks, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Parliament. Spectators basked in sunshine today as London welcomed 2013 with a New Year’s Day parade that celebrated the city’s Olympics glory. Organisers said more than 500,000 people had enjoyed the fair weather as floats, cheerleaders and brass bands marched through the centre of the capital. The stars of the show were the Olympic volunteers who welcomed the world to London in the summer and helped make the Games such a success.

During the parade Crowds were entertained by Floats representing London’s boroughs, the Pandemonium Drummers, whose performance was also one of the Olympics opening ceremony’s highlights, Members of the Magical Bolivia troupe and Members of the All American Cheerleaders and Dancers ‘Starships’ also performed, Speciality kites by Nasser Volant were also flying, and  Various animals featured. Del boy’s Reliant Regal Supervan from Only Fools and Horses car also took part in the annual parade, as did the The Walker Valley High School ‘Mustang Band’and The Merrydowners Morris Dancing Troupe. The parade made its way past some of the capital’s best-known landmarks, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Parliament.

Global Family Day

gfdGlobal Family Day, (One Day of Peace and Sharing) is celebrated every January 1 in the United States and around the world as a global day of peace and sharing. It is a day where individuals and families share food with friends (especially the needy), make personal pledges of nonviolence, and spread a message of peace and sharing by ringing bells or beating a drum in hopes of making society and the world a safer place to live. Global Family Day grew out of the United Nations Millennium celebration, “One Day In Peace.”

Originally supported in the United States by Linda Grover, the original idea itself is difficult to pin down because many grassroots efforts around the world had independently sprung up to target this date as a day for peace and had worked separately to prevail on local governments and the U.N. to establish such a day. These efforts included a 1996 children’s book “One Day In Peace, January 1, 2000” by Steve Diamond and Robert Alan Silverstein, which was translated into 22 languages. As a result, nearly 140 nations were poised to respond to the November 1997 declaration of the U.N. General Assembly that the first year of the new millennium should launch an “International Decade for the Culture of Peace & Nonviolence for the Children of the World” which would be ushered in by “One Day of Peace.” Finally, in November 1999, the U.N. issued a formal invitation for world participation. As the independent grassroots organizations around the world joined the effort, one notable outcome was a special ceremony initiated by Gerry Eitner between Israeli and Palestinian families, at a refugee camp in Nablus. Later that year, the United States Congress followed the U.N. initiative and unanimously voted to establish the first day of every year as a special time of peace and sharing. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly established this Observance as a recurring annual event, also recommending that all Member states recognize the new holiday To date, more than 20 heads of state and many ambassadors have endorsed what has now become known as Global Family Day. Global Family Day has twice received the unanimous support of the U.S. Congres, the UN General Assembly (Resolutions, and more than 30 sitting heads of state and ambassadors representing more than two-thirds of the world’s population.

People of the United States have been urged to observe Global Family Day and One Day of Peace and Sharing by the President who issues an annual proclamation, calling upon the people of the United States to observe Global Family Day, One Day of Peace and Sharing, and for other purposes.In 2005, Dr. Milton A. Reid and Cassandra West, Chairman and President respectively of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Life Institute, were invited to the United Nations for the support of Global Family Day for the International Day of Families. On September 26, 2006, President George W. Bush issued a Presidential Proclamation for Family Day, as special request, of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Life Institute, to the White House, Faith Based Initiatives office. The organization’s mission is to unite, inform, motivate, and connect people, institutions, and governments of the world through the celebration of this day of peace and sharing every January 1 and related year-around programs.

Happy New Year

new+year+animated+gifNew Year’s Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year’s Day is the closest thing to being the world’s only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. New Year’s Day is a postal holiday in the United States.

The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is also named. After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and was subsequently murdered, the Roman Senate voted to deify him on the 1st January 42 BC in honor of his life and his institution of the new rationalized calendar. The month originally owes its name to the deity Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. This suggests that New Year’s celebrations are founded on pagan traditions. Some have suggested this occurred in 153 BC, when it was stipulated that the two annual consuls (after whose names the years were identified) entered into office on that day, though no consensus exists on the matter. Dates in March, coinciding with the spring equinox, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December.

Among the 7th century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands, it was the custom to exchange gifts at the New Year. This was a pagan custom deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemings and Dutchmen not to. Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year’s Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. The March 25 date was known as Annunciation Style; the January 1 date was known as Circumcision Style, because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, considered to be the eighth day of Christ’s life, counting from December 25 when his birth is celebrated. This day was christened as the beginning of the New Year by Pope Gregory as he designed the Liturgical Calendar. Celebrations held world-wide on January 1 as part of New Year’s Day commonly include the following:

  • copious amounts of alcohol
  • Parades
  • American football: In the United States, January 1 is the traditional date for many post-season college football bowl games, which are usually accompanied by parades and other activities to celebrate the events
  • Football: In Europe, Association Football, where a Full Fixture programme[clarification needed] is usually played throughout the Premier League and the rest of the League/Non League system in England
  • Ice hockey, most famously the Winter Classic in North America, a National Hockey League game that is played outdoors
  • Concerts
  • Entertainment, usually enjoyed from the comfort of home
  • Family time
  • Traditional meals
  • Church services
  • An annual dip in ice-cold water by hearty individuals, most famously by members of the Polar Bear Club