It is an undoubted fact that the new year’s party celebrations are widely spread over the globe. It does not matter which nationality you belong to, the new year’s party is celebrated in an extremely lively manner. Though the new year’s party tradition is widely spread throughout the world, not many know of the start of the tradition. Many historians believe that the tradition to celebrate the new year is a more than 4000 year old tradition.
The earliest records found of new year celebrations date back to over 4000 years ago by the Mesopotamians at the time of the vernal equinox (in mid-September). In the 2000 B.C., new year was celebrated by the Egyptians, Phoenicians and Persians during the same time. But the ancient Greeks used to celebrate the new year on the winter solstice (in mid-December).
The Early Romans
Our current international calendar is based on the Roman calendar. But during the start of the usage of the Roman calendar, it was based on the lunar cycle rather than the solar cycle. During this time, they people used to celebrate new year’s day on the 1st of March as March was the first month of the year and the year only had 10 months.
In 700 B.C., the months of January and February were added by the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, to the calendar to bring the number of months to 12. And in the year 153 B.C., 1st January was celebrated as new year’s day for the first time because January was made the first month of the year.
The Julian Calendar
In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar recognised that the calendar was in need of dire reform. With the help of Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer, he did away with the lunar cycle and implemented the solar cycle as the base of the calendar. He named the 7th month of July after him.
The Middle Ages
In the medieval period, with the rise of Christianity, the celebration of the new year was treated to be a pagan festival and was thereby was abolished in 576 A.D. by the Council of Tours. This was because it was almost at the same time as Christmas and they felt that the dates of the festivals overlapped.
The Gregorian Calendar
In 1584 A.D., the Gregorian calendar reforms brought back 1st January as the first day of the year. This format of calendar was immediately accepted by all Catholic countries, and after some years, it was also accepted by the protestant countries who till then were still using March as the first month of the year.