The importance of the turning of the year has been part of human life for centuries, even though the time the changing of the year is observed has changed. Reason would tell us that the beginning of Spring-the Vernal Equinox--would be the logical date to celebrate a new year because life returns to nature at that time. The Romans actually celebrated the year's beginning on March 1.
Wikipedia provides a lengthy and intriguing look at the development of our current calendar.
Did you know:
- The calendar we use now is called the Gregorian calendar, developed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582?
- that at one time 10 days disappeared from the calendar?
- a 13-century-long error in calculations was corrected by adding one day (February 30th) in 1712?
- the world uses several different calendars, and some of the calendars are occasionally adjusted to account for all sorts of problems encountered as time progressed? Others do not adjust so the differences in the measure of time grow with each passing day.
- some countries still use the Julian calendar (developed by Julius Caesar and also called the Roman calendar) which is currently behind the Gregorian calendar by about 13 days?
- the Islamic calendar is different too, being only 354 days long?
(image from www.mhs.ox.ac.uk)
Depending on where you live or your religious faith, you may celebrate New Year's at a different time than those who follow the predominante calendar (the Gregorian calendar, developed as a modification of the Julian calendar). One could, I suppose, just cover all bases by celebrating with each culture, calendar and time zone.
Now that would be a party.