Volume XII, Issue 1 ~ January 1-7, 2004

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Trying to row a beached dory is hard work at Mystic Seaport, CT.
Not Just for Kids

Happy New Year!
by Martha Blume

Why is January 1 the first day of the year? It wasn’t always this way. Ancient Babylonians, in 2000bc, celebrated the New Year on the first new moon after the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring. Ancient Romans also celebrated the New Year in late March, until their emperors started messing with the calendar. In 46bc, emperor Julius Caesar established the Julian Calendar, which established January 1 as the beginning of the new year.

Americans have been celebrating January 1 as the beginning of the New Year for about 400 years. Traditions include making New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are ways that we promise to do better in the future. That tradition goes back to the Babylonians. The most popular resolution for an ancient Babylonian was to return the hoe he borrowed from his neighbor.

Aboard the Bainbridge Island/Seattle ferry in Washington
What resolutions will you make this New Year’s?

What do you do to celebrate?

Did you watch the Tournament of Roses parade? The first parade was held in 1890, when members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers in imitation of the festival of roses in Nice, France. Instead of football, the parade was followed with an afternoon of public games. Men competed in a variety of sports, including jousting, foot races, tug of war and a game called the tourney of rings in which men on horses tried to spear three rings with a 12-foot lance while riding at top speed. The name Tournament of Roses comes from a combination of the flower-covered carriages and the tournament of rings.

Did you sing “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Day? This song, written by Robert Burns, was published in 1796. The words are Scottish for “old, long ago” or the “good old days.” It is sung with fond remembrances of the past while moving into the New Year.

We made it to South Bubble summit, Acadia National Park, ME
Year in Review, 2003
Some time in the first week of the year, after the parades, the football games and the singing, have a family celebration of your own memories. Look through your photo albums, videos, digital photos, journals or whatever you used to record your family in 2003. Laugh about the good times, share the sad, re-tell the family stories of people and places that were highlights.

Then, stage your own family’s Year in Review 2003 as a puppet show.
You’ll need:
• paper lunch bags
• construction paper
• fabric
• ribbons
• yarn
• markers
• glue and scissors

Each person in your family decorates a paper bag to represent himself or herself. Then each one chooses a favorite memory to re-tell, using the puppets as characters.

Kids’ Stuff

Saturday, 3
Family Book Discussion
Fifth and 6th graders with their parents discuss The Kid Who Ran for President at Calvert Library Twins Beach Branch. Drop by first to pick up the free book. 10am @ Rt 261, Chesapeake Beach: 410/257-2411 • www.calvert.lib.md.us

Creeping and Climbing
Learn how to identify the different types of vines that grow in Kinder Park. Ranger Brian teaches you what they are, what they’re used for and which ones are itchy. 1pm @ Kinder Farm Park Rd., Millersville. Free w/rsvp: 410/222-6115.

Plan Ahead
Do You Have a Dream? Can You Write a Poem?
Jan. 7-Remember the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., America’s greatest civil rights leader, by writing a poem inspired by his legacy. Winners GET WHAT; all poetry will be displayed at Southern Community Center Jan 9-31. Southern Community Center, Appeal Ln., Lusby. Call for registration.410/586-1101.

Looney Tune Breakfast
Jan. 9-Kids ages 2-5 invited to breakfast. 10:00am-Noon. Southern Community Center, Appeal Ln., Lusby. $5. 410/586-1101.

Your Turn to Get Tangled in Charlotte’s Web
Jan 10-11Become a member of The Children’s Theater of Annapolis and audition for the stage production of Charlotte’s Web, the classic book about spiders, a pig and friendship, to run March 12-2.. Kids between 8-14 come prepared to sing, dance and read. 1pm @ Bay Head Park at the end of Bay Head Road off College Parkway, Arnold. $10: 410/757-2281 • www.childrenstheatreofannapolis.org.



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Last updated December 31, 2003 @ 9:12pm.