Chimney Sweep

New Yr’s Celebrations by the Ages – Sheridan Media

For many generations, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s have been a way to end the old year and welcome the new year with confidence, courage and the hope that it will bring us joy and new opportunities. It’s time to shed pessimism and be optimistic about a fresh start.

Different cultures have different months and many different ways of celebrating the New Year.

Native Americans welcomed the New Year, but contrary to the fact that our calendar today dictates the first day of January as New Year’s Day, Native Americans used the winter solstice, the movement of the stars, and the lunar cycles to determine the months of the year. Depending on the tribe, January is the wolf moon, the harsh moon, the snow moon, or the moon of intense cold. The celebration could take place at different times each year.

This from the Big Piney Examiner, December 30, 1915 : New Year’s Greeting from an Old Indian — To keep you a tent and peace of mind when you travel. That you can always have a cache for your food and food for your cache. That you will never find a tree that does not give sap, nor a field that does not grow grain. That your bees don’t freeze in winter, that the honey becomes viscous and the combs break like snow between your teeth. That your heart may always be like the morning and that you’re slowly coming to the Four Corners where people say goodnight.

From the Indian Progress. Published bimonthly by The Pupils of the Wind River U.S. Indian Industrial School, Wind River, Wyoming, January 1, 1910.

Snow. More snow. most snow. Happy New Year! Le Roi est mort; Vive le Roi! Sought– a good strong Chinook. Apply to any legal resident of the Rocky Mountain States.

It must have been a cold, snowy winter in 1910.

In Sheridan and Wyoming, New Year’s Eve was a time for dinner, dancing, and masquerade balls.

The Sheridan Enterprise December 30, 1919

In many fortresses it was customary to hold New Year’s balls. From the chief of the Cheyenne on December 21, 1872 The chief of the chief thanks for the invitation to a great bull to be held on New Year’s Eve in the hall of Co. K, Second Cavalry at Fort Laramie.

Old mess at Fort Laramie

I’m not sure how well the menu would go down today, but this is from the Sheridan Post, January 4, 1894: H.H. Smith and Co., proprietors of the bodega, serve their customers an excellent New Year’s Eve lunch. It consisted of possum and sweet potatoes, fried chicken, plum pudding, wine, beer etc. All was served in the best manner and the friends and customers of the house enjoyed and appreciated the treat.

From an unknown paper dated January 1, 1896 Probably the Enterprise

The Sheridan Inn played a prominent part in Sheridan social life in the early days, and New Year’s Eve was no exception. This from the Sheridan Post of December 27, 1910: New Year’s Eve at Inn – New Year’s Eve Dinner is served at the Sheridan Inn from 5:30pm. For those lucky enough to be guests of this famous inn on special occasions, the mere announcement is enough to inform them that the dinner will be the pinnacle of culinary art. The service at the inn is always perfect and the best is not too good for its guests. After dinner there will be dancing and a wonderful evening is guaranteed.

And almost exactly 100 years ago, on Dec. 28, 1922, from the Sheridan Daily company, there is this short notice. New Year: Reservations are now being accepted for the annual New Year’s Eve Dinner and Dance at the Sheridan Inn. This affair is always one of the highlights of the holidays.

A little sparkling wine is often consumed on New Year’s Eve

Private dinners were also held for various groups, like this one in 1907. From the Enterprise, Sheridan, January 4: Mrs. RC Bates offered the Brotherhood of Trainmen a surprise New Year’s Eve in the form of a lavish dinner and card party. Proper invitations were printed and mailed to a number of Brotherhood members. Dinner was served from 7:30am to 9:30am, after which cards were played until midnight when those present bid farewell to the old year and their hostess, wishing her and each other a Happy New Year

Prohibition was still the law of the country in 1919, but there is this clipping from the Sheridan Post of December 31, 1919:

As mentioned at the beginning of the story, different cultures had different ways of celebrating the New Year.

This from The Enterprise, December 1907: The world around: New Year’s Eve is not the day in the United States as it is in some countries. Pilgrims believed that its observance was an acknowledgment of the Roman god Janus, he of two faces, one looking back and the other in hope and anticipation of the new year. Another image of the New Year is Father Time, falling and dying, and his newborn personification rising. Both are nevertheless beautiful and expressive and worthy of eternity.

“Watch night” is probably the most distinctive feature of the upcoming New Year. Services are held in almost every church and sometimes three or four sermons are given. There are also many gatherings in clubs and homes to “celebrate the old year,” and they are occasions for much celebration and repeating in a humorous way the superstitions that were believed in the old days. Much of the social prestige of the time, such as telephoning and gift exchanges, is due to the early Dutch settlers who kept the old customs alive until the middle of the last century.

The Sheridan churches also celebrated Watch Night. Sheridan Post, Dec. 28, 1899. Next Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. there will be a union vigil night service at ME Church. Conclusion with a consecration service Everyone is cordially invited to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new year with us.

The chapel in the park of Ucross

The article continues: In France it was until Oliver Cromwell’s custom to exchange gifts on New Year’s Day. But in the western world, the practice was generally absorbed by the celebration of Christmas. However, there is a notable exception to this rule in France. New Year is the main festival of the year, and the “gift” is the main feature of the festival. Believed that the French celebration of the day combines the ancient customs of Druids, Romans and Christians, New Year’s Day is everyone’s day.

Scotland. As in France, New Year’s Eve is the most important festival of the year in Scotland. The eve of the day and the day itself are called “daft days” or crazy days. And the eve separated from its “stupid” companion is called “Hogmanay”. But no one seems to know what that means.

The application of the term is a custom of children dressing up on a street and going through the houses on New Year’s Eve, knocking on the doors and shouting “Hogmanay”. In response, they always get an oatcake rich in fruit and sometimes some cheese and treats too. This is their “Hogmanay”.

Housewives are busy days in advance preparing cupcakes for their ghostly visitors, and it is considered a bad omen when they run out of supplies and cannot meet demand.

England. Customs in England are very similar to those of Scotland and in many cases are interchangeable. In parts of England the old year is ‘swept out’ by men and boys making their faces black to resemble (chimney) sweeps, and in other places it is ‘pealed out’ with muted bells until the midnight hour, and then the clear ones allow tones to sound. A “hot pint” of the Wassail drink at midnight is still common. The front and back doors are opened at 12 noon to let the bad spirits out and the good spirits in, while all peacock feathers are ejected before this event to lest misfortune follow throughout the year.

The Far East. In Japan, New Year’s Day is celebrated on the Gregorian calendar. It is a general rule there, and in China, that all debts must be paid off at the end of the year, but the mark of the day in Japan is visiting friends and giving “awabi”, a type of conch shell, symbol of bygone times, when their ancestors were necessarily very frugal.

In China, on New Year’s Day, people gather on the streets and greet each other “Kung-hi, Kung-hi,” “I humbly wish you joy,” or “Sin-hi!” “May joy be yours.” Cities are decorated with lanterns and red paper mottos adorned on their houses. If blue paper is seen, it is a sign that there has been a death during the year.

A Chinese dragon

The Chinese New Year celebrations take place over a 16-day period and parades are also held in the streets to celebrate the New Year and fireworks are enjoyed.

Many cities with a fairly large Chinese population have Chinese New Year celebrations. San Francisco is home to one of the largest in the world. This year, the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese astrology, the grand parade will take place on Saturday February 4th.

Up until a few years ago, there was a Chinese New Year parade in Deadwood, SD. According to South Dakota Magazine, there will be a celebration for grades K-6 at the Homestake Adams Research and Culture Center on January 28, where students can learn about Chinese culture.

Happy New Year

On New Year’s Eve 2022 celebrate the achievements of the old year, sweep away the disappointments and enter the new year with optimism and hope for better things in 2023. Happy New Year everyone.


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