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 New Year 
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Post New Year
Does anyone know if there were any special celebrations, or ways of marking the arrival of a new year, aboard vessels during the AoS?

I haven't come across anything that I remember, fact or fiction.

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Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:58 am
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I just came across summaries of New Year's celebrations held during James Clark Ross' voyage to Antarctica in The Race to the White Continent by Alan Gurney. I also found a little bit more in The Siege of the South Pole by Hugh Robert Mill (which Gurney notes in his bibliography).

The first instance (1840/1841), when Erebus and Terror were at sea, Ross held a special dinner in the great cabin, to which all of the officers were invited. The men got extra rations and grog.

The second instance (1841/1842), when the ships were moored to an ice floe, was a bit more lively. They carved a ball room and refreshment room in the ice. At midnight, both ships rang their bells 42 times accompanied by whatever musical instruments they had at hand. A funny bit...some of the men grabbed pigs and squeezed them under their arms like bagpipes until the pigs made noise. During the course of the day, there was dancing, boxing matches, sack races, catching pigs with greased tails, greased pole climbing, and a snow ball fight.

Everyone had a good time except for the pigs.

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Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:48 pm
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Thinking about the ringing of the ship's bell...if I recall correctly, that came up in the movie That Hamilton Woman (the scene where Nelson and Lady Hamilton are out on the balcony at Naples).

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Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:20 pm
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From Life in a Man-of-War, or Scenes in "Old Ironsides" During Her Cruise in the Pacific by "A Fore-Top Man" (Henry James Mercier):

On New Year's Eve (1840), the Constitution anchored in the harbor at Valparaiso.

"As soon as the sails were furled, the caterers of the several messes flocked into the bum-boats, with anxious haste, to procure some little delicacies to regale their messmates with upon the approaching New Year's day, and legs of mutton, geese, turkeys, roasting-pigs, &c., became quickly in high demand..."

"As soon as the hammocks had been piped up on New Year's morn, it was soothing to hear the congratulations pass between the rough sons of Neptune; and 'I wish you a happy New Year' might be heard bandied about in audible voice throughout every part of the ship."

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Fri Aug 04, 2006 6:37 pm
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Post Re: New Year
From Around the World on the Kamchatka, 1817–1819 by Vasilii Golovnin (translated by Ella Lury Wiswell):

"We met the New Year at Cape Horn.... On this occasion the non-commissioned officers and the lower ranks were issued an extra portion of wine; also for the first time during the voyage, I distributed their pay, as I had done on the sloop Diana, at double their wages and at the conversion rate....all of this pleased them very much and, in addition to the usual holiday amusements of common folk, they decided to put on a comedy which they composed themselves; they were given permission to perform and the authors were given a special reward."

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Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:37 am
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