On this date in 1499, Diane de Poitiers was born.
December 31 was the feast day of St. Sylvester. During the Renaissance, festivities and gift-giving were centered around New Year’s Eve. The celebration was known as Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre.
Sylvester I was the Pope of Rome between 314 and 335. Very little is known of him, not even the year of his birth, although it was during his time as Pope that St. Peter’s Basilica was built. Pope Sylvester died on December 31, 335, and was one of the first persons who was not a martyr to be canonized.
Happy New Year!