Happy New Year!

New Years



New Year’s resolutions usually revolve around breaking bad habits or starting good ones. Roughly 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and 25% of them break them by mid-January. 


The earliest known New Year’s celebrations date back to 2000 BC in Ancient Mesopotamia. 


In parts of Italy, people welcome in the New Year by tossing old things out of their windows. By tossing out the old, they make room for new and lucky things to enter their households and lives in the coming year.  Just make sure it doesn’t land on someone head! 


In Spain, eating grapes at midnight is both a tradition and a superstition. At the stroke of midnight, Spaniards eat 12 grapes symbolizing 12 lucky months ahead. In some areas, the grapes are also believed to ward away witches and general evil. 

New Year’s Eve is often celebrated with fireworks and noisemakers. In ancient times, fire and noise were said to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. Fireworks were invented by the Chinese, and they are credited with linking them to New Year’s celebrations. 


The ball drop in Times Square is a long-standing New Year’s ritual, and the tradition began over 100 years ago. In 1907, fireworks were banned in New York City, so the city decided to try

something different. Instead of fireworks, they lowered a 700-lb ball made of wood and iron. 


Every New Year’s Eve, Mobile Alabama drops a 350-pound electronic MoonPie. 


In Denmark, it’s tradition to smash dishes against your friend’s front door at midnight. Finding a large pile of broken China at your door is considered lucky, because it means you have lots of loyal friends.

Montana State Library and Montana FWP partner to support early literacy

The Montana State Library and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are pleased to announce a relaunch of the Ready 2 Read Goes Wild Bear Trunk program, which will provide communities throughout Montana with a unique learning opportunity grounded in outdoor education and appreciation.

The Ready 2 Read Goes Wild program provides themed trunks to public libraries across the state with the goal of providing an opportunity for any patron to share language, literacy, learning and nature with some of Montana’s youngest citizens, children from 3 to 7 years old. The trunks can also be used for older groups, even adults.

“These trunks and the educational lessons that go along with them give educators the unique hands-on learning opportunity that will give their students a whole new awareness and appreciation for Montana’s bears,” said FWP Education Specialist Ryan Schmaltz.

Della VanSetten, from the Choteau/Teton Public Library, has already used the trunk in her Storytime program.

“The children loved getting to touch the bear fur and handle the skull,” VanSetten said. “The kids already knew a lot about bears, but using the bear trunk facilitated a conversation that allowed us to clear up misinformation and expand on their knowledge.”

Currently, there are five public libraries in Montana that have Ready 2 Read Goes Wild Bear Trunks available for check out:

Lincoln County Public Library in Libby included.

As with all library materials, the Ready 2 Read Goes Wild Bear Trunks are free to check out for library patrons in good standing.

The Ready 2 Read Goes Wild Bear Trunk was created with assistance from FWP and uses a variety of bear-focused activities from the Growing Up Wild and Project Wild activity guides, which are correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Head Start standards. It is designed for educators, librarians, caregivers and parents, and features 27 field-tested, hands-on, nature-based activities that include crafts, art projects, music, conservation activities, reading and math connections and more.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with FWP to help Montanans of all ages learn about the wonder of the natural world while they develop skills and appreciation for reading,” said Montana State Librarian Jennie Stapp. “Having a strong foundation in and appreciation for Montana’s wildlife can help create lifelong learners who can continue to feed their curiosity.”

To learn more about the Ready 2 Read Goes Wild program, MSL’s partnership with FWP, or MSL’s early literacy initiative, Ready 2 Read, please contact Amelea Kim, lifelong learning librarian at the Montana State Library at akim@mt.gov or (406-444-0224). You can also visit the Ready 2 Read Goes Wild webpage at https://libraries.msl.mt.gov/lifelonglearning/r2rgoeswild

About the Montana State Library: Through its statewide programs, the Montana State Library empowers Montanans, enhances learning in families and communities, builds 21st Century skills and provides opportunities for civic participation. For more information about the Montana State Library, visit http://msl.mt.gov.

About Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks manages the state’s world-renowned fish, wildlife and state parks for the enjoyment of Montana’s citizens and its visitors. For more information about FWP, visit http://fwp.mt.gov.

Submitted by FWP