Christmas Card featuring Longfellow House's front gate, 1904
View of Front gate of Longfellow House taken from inside gate, looking south toward Longfellow Park. Snow-covered.C1904. Larger photo of same image (5X7) has stamped on verso, "Country Life/Article5/7/04." Printed on inside of card, "Wishing you a Merry Christmas/and/a Happy New Year." Inscribed in pencil (in Alice Allegra Thorp's handwriting), in cursive, "with much love/from Alice." Inscribed in pencil, lower right verso, "7509." Unclear when Alice Allegra Thorp (1888-1955) who wrote inscription had copies of this early image made and incorporated into Christmas card.
New Year's celebrations have a long history dating back to ancient civilizations. The earliest recorded New Year's celebration is believed to have been held by the ancient Babylonians around 2000 BCE. They held a celebration called Akitu, which lasted for 11 days and marked the beginning of the new year, the return of the goddess Ishtar, and the re-creation of the world. The ancient Romans also celebrated the new year, although their calendar was different from the one we use today. The Roman calendar originally began on March 1, and the new year was celebrated on the vernal equinox, which is the first day of spring. The Roman calendar was later changed by Julius Caesar to begin on January 1, and this change was eventually adopted by most Western civilizations. New Year's celebrations have been held on January 1 in many cultures around the world, including in Western Europe, the Americas, and Asia. In many cultures, New Year's is a time for people to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the new year. It is also a time for celebration, with parties, fireworks, and other festive events. In modern times, New Year's celebrations continue to be a popular way to mark the start of a new year and to look forward to the future with hope and optimism. While both Christmas and New Year holidays are times for celebration, they have different origins and traditions. New Year's Day is a secular holiday that is celebrated around the world, while Christmas is a religious holiday that is primarily celebrated by Christians.