During the initial times in the history of Romans, New Year was used to be celebrated in the month of March according to Georgian calendar. At that time, it was used to be referred as the festival of Calends or Kalends.
As a part of the New Year celebrations made during that time, people used to wish one another by gifting branches of trees. For the fact, the gift giving culture on New Year among the Romans began with that tradition.
Later, Romans started celebrating New Year in the month of January, which is also referred as Janus, which is also the name of a God. Among Romans, Janus is considered as the God of the gates, doors, beginnings, and positive initiations. He is also believed to be a two faced God, one at the front, and other at the back. Later, another tradition of gifting gold nuts or coins, with the images of Lord Janus over it, initiated to be followed on the occasion of New Year.
Romans have an extended three days of celebrations for New Year. As a part of New Year celebration made among Romans, they beautifully decorate their houses with greenery and fancy lights. Also, grand feasts are organized in the houses, where close friends and members of the family are cordially invited to have mutual New Year celebrations. They gather at one place; eat, drink, cheer, and dance together; and celebrate the essence of New Year by giving a grand farewell to the past time of the Old Year, and a splendid welcome to the New Year.
The Gift Giving Tradition
Special consideration, efforts, and detailing go in while selecting New Year gifts for them. One ensures to select a gift which symbolizes for good luck. Sweets or honey are chosen as gifts to symbolize for one’s wishes of sweetness and peace in the coming time, gold or silver are chosen as gifts to symbolize for one’s wishes of wealth and prosperity in the coming time, and lamps and lights are chosen as gifts to symbolize for one’s wishes for light and optimism in the coming time. Eggs are counted as the tradition gifts symbolizing for fruitfulness in the coming time.
There is a tradition as a part of which people congregate and go to emperor’s place to confer him with gifts and good luck wishes for the New Year. In the present time, the tradition has been taken up for politicians. However, it is not necessarily followed by everyone among Romans. However, first footing is a prominent and widely followed tradition among Romans. As a part of first footing tradition, the first person which enters a house in New Year is considered to be the decisive factor for the luck in the coming year. While a long, dark haired, and preferably a young man is considered to arrive with good luck for the coming time, a woman, a blonde, or a red haired person is considered to represent for bad luck for the house in the New Year to arrive.