|The History of New Years|
Years' Day is a time to relax and enjoy the start of a bright and
promising new year. To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square
in New York City signals the start of the new year in this country. The
ball was first dropped in 1908.
The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox, which is the first day of Spring.
The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After
all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of
blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor
agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.
The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.
The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.
In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.
During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating
New Years, declaring it was a pagan holiday. January 1 has been
celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400
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New Year's Day
New Years' Day is a time to relax and enjoy the start of a bright and promising new year. To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City signals the start of the new year in this country. The ball was first dropped in 1908.
Starts: 01/01/2014 12:00AMEnds: 2014-01-02:00.000 Duration: 23:59