Pasadena, CA

Never on Sunday: The Rose Bowl parade is held on January 2 whenever New Year's Day falls on the first day of the week

Cheryl E Preston
133rd Rose Bowl ParadePhoto byKTLAS screenshot

Never on Sunday has continued for close to 130 years

The Rose Bowl Parade is an annual event on Jaurary 1 and today brought to mind the 1980s when Cherelle had a hit with the song Saturday Love which featured Alexander Oneal.. One line in the chorus was "Never on Sunday" which I thought about as I read that the Rose Bowl Parade will be on Monday, January 2 in 2023. I had never paid attention before but this annual New Year's Day tradition has never been held on the first day of the week and the reason why is quite interesting.

Blame it on the Horses

The firsts Rose Bowl Game was not until 1902 but the Rose Bowl Parade was 12 years earlier as it began in 1890 in Pasadena California and faced an unusual dilemma in 1893, New Year’s Day was on a Sunday that year and parade organizers were concerned that the noise from the parade would frighten the horses located outside of churches along the parade route. For this reason, the parade has been held ever since on Monday January 2if January 1 falls on a Sunday.

Although no one uses horse-drawn carriages in Pasadena or anywhere else anymore the “Never on Sunday” rule has continued and been observed every year since 1893. There are some stipulations related to the floats that are interesting to note as every float must have its entire exterior surface covered in "organic material: flowers, seeds, bark, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. No artificial material is allowed, nor is artificial coloring of organic material". The parade uses so many flowers, that during the 1892 parade the organizers feared there could be a shortage of flowers because of harsh winter storms.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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