Happy New Year! As we greet family and friends with this seasonal blessing, what a joy it can be to know we are part of a global tradition both ancient and ongoing. The history of humankind reveals a basic need to celebrate the changing of the seasons. For many cultures, the “return” of the sun at the Winter Solstice has marked the beginning of the New Year. With the gradual increase of daylight comes the promise of new life—both plant life and the animal and human life that depend on it. For millennia, people all over the globe have ritually rejoiced in this reassuring cosmic phenomenon.