Baby New Year is a popular personification of the coming year as an infant born on January 1st and rapidly aging to become the grandfatherly Father Time at the end of the year.
Some say the legend can be traced back to ancient Greece, where a baby was carried around in a basket to welcome the new year. According to tradition, the babe was raised skyward to represent the birth of Dionysus. Father Time is said to represent Cronus, father of Zeus.
Others, mention German holiday cards from the late 1400s, which featured images of the baby Jesus bringing good fortune for the coming year.
In the early 1900s editorial cartoons popularized the personification. The Saturday Evening Post, gave the babe a top hat and featured him on their year end editions until the early 1940s.
Newspapers and television stations also have a tradition of featuring the first baby born in a local village, city, or county for New Year. The Press Democrat is no exception.
To bring good fortune to us in the coming year, here is a gallery celebrating locals born on New Year’s Day from 1936 to 2016.