New Year marks the inception of another new 12 months which we call by their usual names but name or mode of pointing the year changes; just like 2016 is all set to say goodbye and 2017 is all ready to cast it’s spell on our lives Midnight 31st December onwards.
On this grand occasion, which is very much secular although 🙂 I have marked few points in the timeline of political history of mankind where 1st January rang in and out to be the first day of any year.
The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.
The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months (septem is Latin for “seven,” octo is “eight,” novem is “nine,” and decem is “ten.”)
January Joins the Calendar
The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.
In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.
Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished
In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.
Gregorian Calendar: January 1st Restored
In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire —and their American colonies— still celebrated the new year in March.
We saw the in and out flow of acceptance of January as first month of any year reigning through various colonial imprints. Now, as New Year is celebrated worldwide, let’s go through the ways of names by which it is welcomed and greeted…
When we say “Happy New Year”..
Afrikaans say Voorspoedige nuwe jaar
Arabic greets Kul ‘am wa antum bikhair
Basque rejoices Urte Berri on
Bengali wishes Shuvo noboborsho
Chinese (Cantonese) says Sun nien fai lok
Chinese (Mandarin) says Xin nian yu kuai
Czech greets Stastny Novy Rok
Danish rejoices Godt NytÅr
Dutch celebrates Gelukkig nieuwjaar
Esperanto cheers Bonan Novjaron
Finnish celebrates Onnellista uutta vuotta
French says Bonne année
German greets Ein glückliches neues Jahr
Greek states Eutychismenos o kainourgios chronos
Hawaiian cheers Hauoli Makahiki hou
Hebrew greets Shana Tova
Hungarian celebrates Boldog uj evet
Indonesian (Bahasa) wishes Selamat Tahun Baru
Italian wishes Felice Anno Nuovo or Buon anno
Japanese rejoices Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu
Korean celebrates Sehe Bokmanee Bateuseyo
Laotian (Hmong) cheers Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab
Latin celebrates Felix sit annus novus
Nigerian (Hausa) cheers Barka da sabuwar shekara
Norwegian wishes Godt Nytt År
Philippines (Tagalog) celebrates Manigong Bagong Taon
Polish cheers Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Romanian calls La Multi Ani si Un An Nou Fericit
Samoan cheers Ia manuia le Tausaga Fou
Spanish wishes Feliz año nuevo
Swedish wishes Gott Nytt År
Thai celebrates Sawatdee Pi Mai
Vietnamese rejoices Chuc mung nam moi
Welsh cheers Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
But altogether it’s a grand beginning of another grand chapter of life filled with all the inseparable ingredients of emotions and allegedly painful yet thoughtful stances supported by cheering moments with near and dear ones, filled with lessons and blessings… Which we very rashly yet dearly claim to be LIFE! ~TheSpiritual~