|Day||Walk Type||Start Time||End Time|
|1 January 2024||Special||7 pm||8 pm||Winter||Book Now|
On this walk we look at how London has celebrated the New Year over the past 2000 years, and using our crystal ball look forward to what 2024 might hold.
The walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London.
The New Year has been a time of review, renewal and anticipation of the future from time immemorial. The Ancient Britons saw the Solstice as a symbol of a promise of renewal as the sun was reborn. As the weather turns to bleak mid-winter, a festival or reflection and renewal cheers everyone up. This idea of renewal was followed by the Romans, and presided over by a two-headed God called Janus who looked both backwards and forwards. Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol was based on redemption and his second great Christmas Book The Chimes on the renewal that the New Year encouraged.
We look at London’s past to see where and how the New Year was celebrated. We also explore the different New Years we use and their associated Calendars – the Pagan year, the Christian year, the Roman year, the Jewish year, the Financial year, the Academic year and we reveal how these began. We look at folk traditions, Medieval Christmas Festivals, Boy Bishops, Distaff Sunday and Plough Monday, and other Winter Festival and New Year London traditions and folklore.
At the end we use ancient methods to divine what is in store for us in 2024.
The virtual walk finds interesting and historic places in the City of London to link to our stories of Past New Year’s Days. We begin, virtually, at Barbican Underground and continue to the Museum of London, the Roman Fort; Noble Street, Goldsmiths Hall, Foster Lane, St Pauls, Doctors Commons, St. Nicholas Colechurch and on towards the River Thames.