The history of New Year’s Day is complex but interesting. It is celebrated during the 1st day of January. The ancient Babylon encouraged every country to celebrate their annual celebration with giant bonfires, confetti, champagne, fireworks and many more. Mesopotamia (or Iraq) is the place that created the concept of the New Year celebration in the late 2000 B.C.
The Romans devoted the New Year’s celebration in the honor of Janus, the God of Beginnings, Doors and Gates (not Bill Gates and not BridgeGate). The month of January originated from the name Janus. Janus has two faces; the first one is looking forward to the future while the other one is looking back to the past. Most countries especially the Western Europe also adopted January 1st as the official date of their New Year’s Day.
Most of Western people made use of the Gregorian calendar starting in 1752 and they considered the first day of New Year as January 1. Before this, in Christian places throughout Europe, the Julian calendar was used and the new year was celebrated as the Feast of Annunciation on the 25th day of March. January 1st is also known as the Circumcision style since it was the date of the Feast of Circumcision that is connected to the eight day of the life of Christ (the first day being December 25). When Pope Gregory designed the liturgical calendar, the 1st of January had been considered as the beginning of New Year.
Nowadays, most of the festivities for New Year begin on New Year’s Eve which is December 31. It is considered as the last day in the Gregorian calendar. Most of the common traditions during New Year’s Eve include eating all kinds of food, attending parties, watching impressive fireworks displays and making New Year’s resolutions. The early Roman calendar consists of 10 months and 304 days wherein the New Year began at the so-called vernal equinox that was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome during the eight century.
The Romans celebrated this day in a form of exchanging gifts, attending parties and decorating their homes with laurel branches. In most countries, the celebration of the New Year begins on December 31 which is also known as the New Year’s Eve. Most families throughout the world enjoy their snacks and meals in order to bestow the luck in the upcoming years.
In several parts of Spain, most families gulp down dozen of grapes that symbolize hope. The practice of making New Year resolutions is derived from ancient Babylon. They asked a favor to the gods of beginnings in order to have a prosperous year and to give them courage to start the year with a positive mind and bright outlook in life.
The idea behind making New Year’s resolutions which were taught by the Babylonians is still present today. There are a variety of ways to celebrate New Year’s Day but you need to appreciate the essence and value of this day first. The history of New Year will serve as a reminder for every individual to have a better understanding of this yearly celebration and have a positive outlook as we decide to go “out with the old and in with the new” as they say.
Rumor Has It …
… that New Year’s Day was actually created by the rock band U2 over 500,000 years ago in the first caveman rock band in celebration of the extinction not of the T-Rex, but rather of the extinction of the Jurassic park movies and a joyous life thereafter.