Although there are differences between their dates, meanings and even forms of celebration, most of the world’s great cultures, both in the East and in the West, have a date, on which they celebrate the New Year.
Meaning of the New Year
In this sense, even though the birth of this tradition within the different cultures may point to various historical facts, usually most agree to take a date from their respective calendars to end a cycle, and assume the start of another, whose duration is not always 365 days, as in the Julian calendar by which the West is governed, and which is purely solar.
Therefore, almost always, regardless of the intensity, visibleness, or conversely the solemnity that this celebration may entail for each of the peoples of the world, it is usually a date when human beings take a moment to thank you for the great things you have achieved or received during the year, as well as for dismissing bad times, and setting new goals, purposes and desires for the new cycle that begins.
In this way it could be said that the new year is a chronological threshold by which men keep track of their existence as a group, as well as their individual lives. So too, it is a day or a period where reflection on what has been achieved and what is desired is to be asked by mouth, as well as a perfect opportunity to share with the most important and close people.
Where the New Year’s celebration comes from
As for the origin of this date, at least as far as the West is concerned, that is, the New Year that is celebrated all the first of January, most historians agree that the custom of taking a day to consider that a cycle has come to an end, to make way for a new one can be traced back to Babylon four thousand years ago, where a festival, known as Akitu, was held, which was assumed from the point of view of renewal.
This feast of the ancient Babylonians took place when the first new moon occurred, after the vernal equinox, which occurred in March, and which was taken by this civilization as a crucial chronological point, because it is the date on which day and night they last exactly the same. During this festival, the Babylonians celebrated the renewal, so serious that even, according to some historical sources, they took the opportunity to leave the coronations of their kings during Akitu, in order to renew their monarchs.
New Year and God Janus
However, even though the origin of the New Year’s feast can be placed in the Babylonian people, the custom of this one being in January would also go back on its part to another important civilization: the Roman Empire.
As a result, some historians have pointed out that as it can be studied in this Western town after Julius Caesar established the new calendar in 46 BC, which is now known as a Julian calendar, and which was intended to be a year the annual time began to be counted from January, a month that was dedicated, or that was considered ruled by the god Janus, deity of the Roman Parthenon to which he is related as the lord of the thresholds, the beginnings and the endings.
In fact, the importance of this month being ruled by Jano was such that during this time, the Roman people took a moment to celebrate that a year was coming to an end, and another began, a celebration in which they used to decorate their houses, throw parties , and even exchange gifts with your loved ones.
Since when does the New Year be celebrated on January 1st?
However, the origin of January 1 as the date of celebration of the New Year in the West lies within the Catholic Church, specifically under the command of Pope Gregory XIII, who in the year 1582 set as a Christian date of January 1, in which not only was the beginning of a year celebrated, but in its objective of sanctifying the festivities, that day was assumed as the celebration of the circumcision of Jesus of Nazareth, a fact that can be interpreted as an effort of the Catholic Church to take for itself and resi gnify a high-rooted pagan party.
However, even though the Catholic institution has for years done its work to sanctify this feast, most of those who join its celebration still take this moment to pay tribute to the finals, and especially to the beginnings, so it can be said that from those festivals of Akitu, to those dedicated to Jano, the Western soul has not lost its sense of chronological cycles, and the important thing of reflecting on its existence and passage, this being the most universal of the senses with which the New Year’s celebration.
September 22, 2019