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Rose Parade 2015.
Photograph: Michael JulianoRose Parade 2015.

The Rose Parade won't be on New Year's due to an obscure 1893 rule

Written by
Brittany Martin

The Rose Parade is a New Year’s Day tradition, but this year the event will be bumped back to Monday, January 2 instead. That is because of a rule dating back to 1893 that banned the parade from occurring on a Sunday.

The Sunday ban went into effect because, in the Old West days, there was public concern that the parade would upset the horses hitched up outside of churches along the parade route, and that would disturb the services going on inside, according to the L.A. Times. There may not be a lot of people who still ride their horses to church these days—or, at least not in Pasadena—but the organizers behind the Rose Parade keep the custom in place.

As it turns out, there might be an added benefit to the date change for 2017’s event. Forecasters are predicting rain for New Year’s Day, but not for the day after. The Rose Parade does not cancel for rain, so pushing it to a dry day should avoid a crowd of wet and grumpy spectators as well as honoring the origin of the parade, which was created specifically to show off Southern California’s year-round sunny climate. In the 127 years of the parade, it has only rained 10 times, and the storm that’s predicted for Sunday is a pretty significant one, dropping inches of rain.

If you’re planning to make a trip to the Rose Parade, check out our event guide which has information about booking paid seats and the best spots to try to snag a free sidewalk spot. If you just want to see the floats themselves without having to compete with the parade crowds, there is also a post-parade viewing opportunity.

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