New Year is the world's most popularly celebrated festival.
Perhaps, everybody would like to know how these celebrations began, from
where it originated and what is so important about the festival. Let's give
you an insight to the origin of this grand event in a brief form.
Origin of New Year dates back to the era of emperors. They thought of
celebrating a special day which should dot a day for beginning and end of
the year. First New Year celebrations were noticed in Mesopotamia around
2000 years. It was celebrated at the time of Equinox in mid-March by the
Egyptians, Persians and Phoenicians while Greeks celebrated it on winter
Ancient New Year Calendar
First New Year celebrations were noticed in Mesopotamia around 2000 years.
It was celebrated at the time of Equinox in mid-March by the Egyptians,
Persians and Phoenicians while Greeks celebrated it on winter solstice.
As per the ancient Roman calendar New Year fell on March 1
calendar just had ten months and March was the first month of the year. The
calendar originated by the cycles of the moon, beginning in spring and
ending with autumn planting.
Inclusion of Two Calendar Months
It was Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome who divided the year into
twelve lunar months by adding the months of January and February. The New
Year was shifted to January as it marked the beginning of the civil years in
Rome. But this was not fully accepted by the people of Rome and they
continued celebrating in the month of March only.
January 1- an Official Date of New Year Celebrations
The Roman emperor Julius Caesar officially declared January 1
a New Year in 46 B.C.
Romans worshiped God Janus who had two faces,
one looking forward and the other looking backward. The month of January was
named after this Roman God and it gave an idea to the emperor to establish
January as a gate to the New Year. It is said Caesar celebrated January 1 -
New Year by ordering the revolutionary Jewish forces to route back.
People began New Year celebrations on January 1 after many years. They
ritualized the beginning of the year by acting and re-enacting the world of
the past before peace proliferated. People learned January as first month of
the year and with this the tradition of following Julian calendar.
Abolition of Roman New Year Date
In the medieval period, pagan festivals were given more importance and March
was announced as the beginning of the New Year. March 25 was called
the Annunciation Day
as on this day Mary got the news that she
should be impregnated.
Later, the King of England ensured that Jesus' birth December 25
should be commemorated as New Year.
About 500 years later, Pope Gregory XIII abolished the old Julian calendar
and introduced Gregorian calendar which comprised of a leap year after every
four years to maintain balance between seasons and calendar. Finally, in
1582, Gregorian calendar was set to celebrate New Year on the first day of
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