It's A Baby!
December 27, 2010
Some of us were sitting around talking last week about the New Year's holiday coming up, and we wondered why a baby is so commonly used as a symbol of the new year. I did a little bit of research on this, and here's what I found.
A baby is a symbol for the new year because babies represent a new beginning. The Baby New Year is a cute and chubby baby who wears only a diaper and a sash across his torso that shows the year he is representing. He may also be shown wearing a top hat. Over the course of the year, the Baby New Year grows up and becomes an old man. This old man is called Father Time, and he represents the year which is coming to an end. At the end of his year, Father Time hands over his duties to the next Baby New Year.
It is said that the custom of using a baby to depict the beginning of the New Year began in Greece around 600 BC. At that time, the Greeks honored their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket. This ritual represents the annual rebirth of Dionysus as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians are also said to have used the baby as a symbol of rebirth. Early Christians denounced the practice of using a baby because they felt the custom was pagan in nature. The Church reevaluated, and later decreed that Church members would be allowed to celebrate the New Year by using a symbolic baby as long as it illustrated the birth of baby Jesus. The Germans had used the Baby New Year symbol since the 14th century, and they brought this tradition with them when they came to America.
North Oak Branch