While New Year’s resolutions in general are thought to date back to the ancient Babylonians, the New Year’s resolution to get in shape is part of a much more recent trend.
In the African-American community, New Year’s Day used to be widely known as “Hiring Day” — or “Heartbreak Day,” as the African-American abolitionist journalist William Cooper Nell described it — because enslaved people spent New Year’s Eve waiting, wondering if their owners were going to rent them out to someone else, thus potentially splitting up their families.
SOURCE: BBC History Extra
Today, we associate New Year’s Eve with raucous and optimistic parties, followed the next day by hungover resolutions to change our ways in the months ahead. But New Year celebrations haven’t always been so.
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