Lifestyle

The Gregorian Calendar New Year & What it Means in Texas

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The first question you must answer when asking who started New Years is what calendar was used?  There are over 40 different calendars used, today, in the world, usually pertaining to religious beliefs.  The most popular ones are the Gregorian calendar, Chinese, Hebrew, Islamic, Persian, Ethiopian and Balinese Pawukon.  The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used for official purposes, worldwide, while the Jewish calendar is the oldest still used today.

The ancient Babylonians are said to have the earliest known celebrations in recognition of the arrival of the New Year.  It was always in conjunction with the first new moon after the vernal equinox or when there was an equal amount of daylight and darkness, usually in late March. A new king was appointed or the current one went through a symbolic ceremony as if he were a new king, while celebrating a mythical victory of Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tuamat. What does that have to do with Texas? We’re getting to that!

New Year's Beginnings

Photo: Flickr/Internet Archive Book Images

Civilizations, from ancient times to the days of the early Romans, kept developing calendars, changing them to coincide with the various equinoxes or agricultural events, such as the rising of the star Sirius.  The Chinese New Year occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice. So, who started New Years? The skies were always speaking an invisible language to the students of its mysteries of space and time and travel.

New Year's Beginnings

Photo: Flickr/Kim Alaniz

Julius Caesar began his eventful changes for a solar year by adding 90 extra days to the year 46 B.C.  in his Julian calendar, starting January 1, 46 B.C. which was founded by Romulus in 800 B.C. containing 10 months or 304 days. Numa Pompilius added the months of Januarius and Februarius, but even these additions did not keep the dates in sync with the sun.  The Julian calendar was created and thusly modernized into the Gregorian calendar by Aloysius Lilius and adopted by Pope Gregory XIII in the mid 1500’s.

Caesar delegated January 1 as the first day of the year, honoring Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. The god Janus was reputed to have two faces allowing him to look into the future and into the past, all at the same time.  The citizens of the country celebrated by exchanging gifts and “partying down.”

New Year's Beginnings

Photo: Flickr/Jonte

Today we celebrate New Year’s Eve with parties and resolutions to apply throughout the coming year. In Spain people bolt down grapes symbolizing new year’s hopes fulfilled. Pork is always served in Cuba, Austria, Hungary and many other countries on New Year’s Day. In the United States, in Texas at least, we always serve black-eyed peas.

Another custom is fireworks and singing, especially the popular “Auld Lang Syne” and the traditional dropping of a giant ball (i.e. in New York City’s Times Square at midnight) which is recreated in cities throughout Texas at the same time.  The dropping of the ball in New York has been done since 1907 when it was a 700-pound iron and wood orb.

New Year's Beginnings

Photo: Flickr/jeffreyw

New Year's Beginnings

Photo: Flickr/SimonPix

For further, in-depth information, take time to read the History of the Calendar published by History WorldThe information is astonishing, to say the least.

Never stop learning and never stop dreaming, regardless of your calendar years…you can have a happy new year at the start of any day!!!

New Year's Beginnings

Photo: Pixabay