Baby New Year is a popular personification of the coming year, starting out as an infant born on Jan. 1 and rapidly aging to become the grandfatherly Father Time at the end of the year.

Some say the legend can be traced back to ancient Greece where a baby was carried around in a basket to welcome the new year. According to tradition, the little one was raised skyward to represent the birth of Dionysus. Father Time is said to represent Cronus, father of Zeus.

Others mention German holiday cards from the late 1400s, which featured images of the baby Jesus bringing good fortune for the coming year.

In the early 1900s, editorial cartoons popularized the personification. The Saturday Evening Post gave the baby a top hat and featured him in their year-end editions until the early 1940s.

Newspapers and television stations also have a tradition of featuring the first baby born in a local village, city, or county of the New Year. The Press Democrat is no exception.

To bring good fortune to us in the coming year, the gallery above celebrates locals born on New Year’s Day from 1936 to 2018.


What: Press Democrat’s “Women in Conversation” program featuring “The Silence Breakers” Lindsay Meyer, CEO of Batch, Inc.; Ashley Judd, actress and feminist; Adama Iwu, director of government relations for VISA and co-founder of We Said Enough.

When: Mix and mingle at 4:30 p.m. with dinner for purchase; Women in Conversation program at 6 p.m.

Where: Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa

Tickets: $55, at 707-546-3600 or