While many of us celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st, this was not always considered the first day of the new year by many Americans. While we currently use the Gregorian calendar which made January 1st the official start of a new year, it was not adopted by the British and their American colonies until 1752. Until then, New Year’s Day was celebrated by most in America on March 25th.
This means that, since Stratford Hall was completed in 1738, those who lived here might have celebrated New Year’s Day on March 25th for over 10 years!
During colonial times, open houses (where food and drink were served to guests and the public) were a New Year’s tradition. Even the first President of the United States, George Washington (and good friend of both Richard Henry Lee and Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee III), held an open house on the first New Year’s Day after his inauguration.
However you choose to celebrate the New Year, we hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends!
-Cait Ellis, Executive Assistant