There’s something I’ve always wondered. Okay, I wonder about a lot of things. Blame my parents they raised me to question everything. But I digress. Why is New Year’s Day on such an odd day? I mean, it’s not on an equinox. It’s not on the longest or shortest day of the year?
I would think that given that we started as gatherers (with a minuscule amount of hunting) then evolved into farming, that our year would start when life returned to the region we lived in. So spring–which would mean the New Year’s would start six months apart depending on what side of the equator you lived on.
But at what point did we stop looking around us and look up at the heavens to decide that stuff up there effects us more than we could ever effect the planet? (Ignore the irony of that statement until another post).
The Chinese, Koreans, and the Islamic calendars all follow lunar calendars. Hindus mark the new year by when the sun enters Aries. And the good ol’ Georgian calendar is a corrected version of the Julian calendar based on the vernal equinoxes. The Romans gave us the Julian calendar. Depending on the source, it could be to honor the murdered Julius Caesar and his nationalized calendar or it could be to honor the two-faced god, Janus–who could look forward and back. (Being that the time between equinoxes was off by 11 minutes, their new year is now on the 14th of January).
I kind of like the Janus reference. I do believe that we should reflect on the past while moving forward into the sparkling new day. After all, we’re supposed to be a sentient species. We should learn from our mistakes (as well as others) and apply the lessons learned to our new opportunities. Okay, now I’m moving into sap territory.
So Happy New Year! Whenever you celebrate it:-)