Thou shalt not hold the Rose Parade on a Sunday.
Thus spake Tournament of Roses officials in 1893, the first time New Year’s Day fell on the Lord’s Day. That year, organizers decided to move the New Year’s festivities to Jan. 2 in order to avoid frightening horses tied outside local churches and disrupting worship services.
In keeping with this tradition, the 134th Rose Parade and 109th Rose Bowl game will be held on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.
It is the 21st time New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday in the century since the Tournament of Roses began.
In the Tournament, itself a tradition full of traditions, this practice was last invoked in 2017.
- More pre-Rose Parade coverage here
The other years it happened were 1893, 1899, 1905, 1911, 1922, 1928, 1933, 1939, 1950, 1956, 1961, 1967, 1978, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2006 and 2012.
The Rev. Amy Aitken, pastor at First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Pasadena, doesn’t worry about spooked horses outside the church doors these days.
Instead, she and her congregation welcome members, and visitors on parade day, offering sidewalk seats and parade parking for $25 each. Youth group members hold the seats or parking space, with proceeds benefiting the youth summer service trip. (Call for more information.)
Ashley Slade, director of communications for FUMC, said although horses are no longer hitched outside the church, the congregation feels lucky that the parade has passed by their building on Colorado Boulevard and Oakland for 99 years. The church predates the parade, having been founded more than 150 years ago.
“Our history with the Rose Parade has been a wonderful way to introduce visitors to our city and our church,” Slade said. “We consider ourselves a very community-oriented congregation. With our location on the busy Colorado corridor, we welcome newcomers to the neighborhood and have many members whose families have attended here for generations.”