why do we celebrate the new year

It s the end of the year: time to start fresh, make resolutions and get ready for 2017. But as the world counts down to midnight, let s take a moment to question why people around the planet are celebrating the new year at that very moment. It turns out that the new year wasn t always on Jan. 1, and still isn t in some cultures. The ancient Mesopotamians celebrated their 12-day-long New Year s festival of Akitu on the vernal equinox, while the Greeks partied around the winter solstice, on Dec. 20. The Roman historian Censorius, meanwhile, reported that the Egyptians celebrated another lap around the sun on July 20, according to a 1940 article in the journal the Proceedings of the. During the Roman era, March marked the beginning of the calendar. Then, in 46 B. C. , Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar, which set the new year when it is celebrated today,.

But even Julius Caesar couldn t standardize the day. New Year s celebrations continued to drift back and forth in the calendar, even landing on Christmas Day at some points, until Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian calendar in 1582. The
was an attempt to make the calendar stop wandering with respect to the seasons. Because the Julian calendar had a few extra leap years than was necessary, by the 1500s, the first day of spring came 10 days earlier. Though the selection of the new year is essentially arbitrary from a planetary perspective, there is one noteworthy astronomical event that occurs around this time: The in early January, a point known as the perihelion. Nowadays, Jan. 1 is almost universally recognized as the beginning of the new year, though there are a few holdouts: Afghanistan, Ethiopian, Iran, Nepal and Saudi Arabia rely on their own calendrical conventions.

Different religions also celebrate their New Year s at different times. For instance, the is lunar, and its New Year s festival, Rosh Hashanah, is typically celebrated between September and October. The Islamic calendar is also lunar, and the timing of the new year can drift significantly. For instance, in 2008, the Islamic New Year was celebrated on Dec. 29, while it will come on Sept. 22 in 2017. The Chinese calendar, meanwhile, is also lunar, but the Chinese New Year falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20. Originally published on. New YearБs Day is a national holiday celebrated on January 1st, the first day of the New Year, following both the Gregorian and the Julian calendar. This New YearsБ holiday is often marked by fireworks, parades, and reflection upon the last year while looking ahead to the futureБs possibilities.

Many people celebrate New YearБs in the company of loved ones, involving traditions meant to bring luck and success in the upcoming year. Many Cultures celebrate this happy day in their own unique way. Typically the customs and traditions of happy New Years involve celebrating with champagne and a variety of different foods. New Years marks a date of newly found hapiness and a clean slate. For many celebrating New Years, it is their opportunity to learn from the prior year and make positive changes in their life. New YearБs Day Holiday History New YearБs is one of the oldest holidays still celebrated, but the exact date and nature of the festivities has changed over time. It originated thousands of years ago in ancient Babylon, celebrated as an eleven day festival on the first day of spring. During this time, many cultures used the sun and moon cycle to decide the БfirstБ day of the year.

It wasnБt until Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar that January 1st became the common day for the celebration. The content of the festivities has varied as well. While early celebrations were more paganistic in nature, celebrating EarthБs cycles, Christian tradition celebrates the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on New YearБs Day. Roman Catholics also often celebrate Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a feast honoring Mary. However, in the twentieth century, the holiday grew into its own celebration and mostly separated from the common association with religion. It has become a holiday associated with nationality, relationships, and introspection rather than a religious celebration, although many people do still follow older traditions.

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