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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Ancient Era of New Year Celebration

The first New Year celebration was observed in Babylon around 4,000 years ago. However, it was believed to have been observed in March, on the first day of spring. Babylonians New Year started on the first new moon after the Vernal Equinox, in mid-March. Ancient Babylon believed that the beginning of the spring is a season of new beginning and that was the reason for celebrating New Year in the month of March.

Equinox is when the Earth axis is inclined away from or towards the Sun. This is the time of the year when sun crosses the celestial equator. During this celestial phenomenon the length of time of the day and night are equal. Vernal Equinox is at the beginning of the spring in Northern Hemisphere and occurs around March 21st. Autumnal Equinox is around September 23rd.

Corollary to this, Romans had likewise observed their New Year in March. Roman calendar then had ten months, March being the first month. In 700 B.C. at the time of the second Roman King Numa Pontilius the months of January and February were added to the Roman calendar. It was that time when January became the beginning of the month. Yet, still New Year celebration in January 1st was not strictly observed. Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. introduced a solar- based calendar declaring New Year should be celebrated in January 1st. The Julian calendar gained wide acceptance among the Romans. Not until, the Council of Tours in 567 A.D. abolished January as the beginning of the year. Medieval Christian Europe celebrated New Year in December 25th.

Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, restored the celebration of New Year in January 1st. The Gregorian calendar gained wide acceptance not only among Catholics but gradually adopted by Protestant countries. In 1752, Bristish Empire and consequently its American colonies celebrated New Year, January 1st. Although other countries have other months to celebrate New Year, January 1st New Year celebration is accepted and observed worldwide.


2 comments:

Wolverine said...

nice work... happy blogging

Jolly Princess said...

Hello Wolverine.. Welcome to my blog. Thanks for the lovely comment. Much appreciated.

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