Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remember When . . . New Years Was Still . . . well, Old?

Did you know that New Year's is one of the oldest holidays in the world, celebrated by pretty much every culture (though at different times)? And that whole resolution thing? That's about as old as the holiday. Back in the day, common resolutions in Ancient Babylon were to give back tools that had been borrowed from neighbors, and the Ancient Romans resolved to ask forgiveness for wrongs they had done. That one kinda puts "quit smoking" and "lose weight" (America's most popular resolutions) to shame, doesn't it?

January 1 was established as the first day of the new year in 153 B.C. by the Roman emperor. The month got its name from the mythical god Janus, who had two faces and so could look both forward and back, into the past and future. Makes it pretty cool for the first month of the year, eh? Julius Caesar finalized the calendar as we know it in 46 B.C.

For many years, Christian tradition began the year in March, but Pope Gregory XIII reinstated the Julian calendar in the sixteenth century, and we've been observing January 1st as our New Year's Day ever since.

Tomorrow I'll be doing some reflecting on the past year and looking to the future (though only with one face, ha ha), and on Friday I'm starting my fabulous author interviews with Linore Rose Burkard, many of which will have a giveaway. Be sure and check in for those!


  1. I love the regular dose of fascinating history I get from your blog dear cousin! This is so neat, thanks for the lesson! And I look forward to tomorrow's musings as well! :) Andrea

  2. Guess that means I should actually start putting some thought into it . . . hmmmmm. Does "have a rockin' year!" count as a resolution?? LOL.

    Happy to provide you with some more-or-less useless historical facts, cousin mine. =) That's what I'm here for!

  3. You always have interesting things to say, Ro. Happy new year to you and yours.