We all know that New Year is a time of celebration, a time to join with family and friends to say goodbye to the problems of the past and welcome the fortunes that the future holds. But have you ever wondered why January 1 marks the beginning of the year? Have you ever thought about why we celebrate in the way that we do?
New Years Traditions and Superstitions
There are a number of superstitious traditions that began many years ago that have lost their meaning in present day. Typically these traditions were enacted to influence the luck one would have in the coming year. For example, the New Years Eve parties that we all know and love began due to the belief that what one did on the first day of the year could affect their luck. This is why parties go past midnight and into the new year and it also explains why they involve lots of family and friends. Read more about happy new year wishes 2022
When the clock strikes midnight it’s common for us to kiss our loved ones and make lots of noise to celebrate the beginning of a new year. While most of us just do this without really thinking about it, there is a superstitious reason behind this. Traditionally, people kissed each other to ensure that the relationship lasted for the rest of the year and they made a lot of noise as they believed it would scare the evil spirits away.
History of New Years Day
The origins of New Years celebrations date back thousands of years. In around 2000BC the Babylonians celebrated the new year over an 11-day period. This period did not begin on January 1 as we would expect, it actually started with the first new moon after the first day of spring (also known as the Vernal Equinox).
It was not until 153BC that January was declared as the beginning of the year by the Romans. The month was named after Janus the mythical god of beginnings. The calendar year became much more like that used in present day in 46BC when Julius Caesar established the Julian Calendar. After consultation with an astronomer he matched the calendar year with the movement of the sun and marked January 1 as the start of the new year.
New Years Resolutions
The popular tradition of making new years resolutions also has origins in Ancient Babylon and Rome. The Babylonians would typically return farm equipment that they had borrowed during the year, while in Caesar’s time Janus became the symbol for resolutions because he had two faces that could look to the past and into the future.