While many of us associate New Year’s Celebrations with New York City and Time Square, civilizations around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for at least four millennia.
The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year.
The early Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox; according to tradition, it was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, in the eighth century B.C. A later king, Numa Pompilius, is credited with adding the months of Januarius and Februarius.
Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today.
As part of his reform, Caesar instituted January 1st as the first day of the year.
As we come to the close of 2020, and open wide the doors of expectation and anticipation on the New Year of 2021, We at the Green Bay News Network wish all of our Members and Readers a Happy New Year – filled with Family, Good Friends, Good Health, and the Blessings of Prosperity!
Happy New Year!
Jim Rafter, President