Ever Wonder Why are we celebrating the New Year On Jan 1 ?
While most of the world celebrates the event when it is midnight and therefore at the exact moment of entry into the year 2019, let us ask why it is January 1st that we celebrate the New Year. , it has not always been associated with this date and still is not associated in some cultures
Ancient civilizations celebrated the New Year at very different times of the year. Thus, the ancient Mesopotamians celebrated the New Year for twelve days during the Akitu festival which was held around the vernal equinox while the Greeks celebrated the event around the winter solstice on December 20th. As reported by the Roman Censorius , on the side of the Egyptians is the 20th of July that we celebrated the New Year according to a 1940 article to consult in the journal Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society .
In the Roman era, it was March 1 that the New Year was celebrated. It was the month of the beginning of the military campaigns, Mars being the god of war among the Romans. Then in 46 BC BC, Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar, a solar calendar intended to replace the Roman calendar which seemed to him too fluctuating. But the application of the Julian calendar was not easy and we continued to celebrate the New Year on different dates.
It was not until 1582 and Pope Gregory XIII that the Gregorian calendar was introduced to correct the secular drift of the Julian calendar. First used by the Catholic states, it spread to most of the world at the beginning of the 20th century for civil uses, while other calendars of different cultures remain used for religious or traditional purposes.
Why January 1st?
Although the choice of the New Year date is essentially arbitrary in a planetary perspective, there is a remarkable astronomical event that occurs at this time: the Earth is closer to the sun at the beginning of January. This is called perihelion. For 2017, this point will be reached on January 4th. Thus, January 1 is broadly considered New Year’s Day even though some countries have not adopted it as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iran, Nepal and Saudi Arabia.
For other cultures, celebrations are also planned for other dates. This is the case for the Islamic calendar, the Jewish calendar or the Chinese calendar, all of which are lunar calendars. For example, the famous Chinese New Year will fall this year on January 28, 2019.