LearnLatinwith Us!Start Learning!
Whilst enjoying your New Year, remember to look back on 2013 and see what you wish to make of 2014! But before you do that, read on the historic background of New Years Day!
Originally, the Roman calendar designated March 1 as the New Year. The Roman Calendar only had ten months with March as the first month.
These were added later:
According to Livy, January was invented by Rome’s second king, Numa Pontilius, along with February. The first time the New year was celebrated on January 1st was in 153 B.C.E. However, this change from March 1st to January 1st was not always strictly enforced. It was mainly implemented for political reasons. The New Year was moved to January 1st, because this was when the beginning of the civil year occurred. The month that two newly elected Roman Consuls began their one-year term.
In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a solar-based calendar that improved the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar- based which had become extremely inaccurate over the years. Julius Caesar’s calendar known as the Julian calendar decreed that the New Year would occurred on January 1st for the entire Roman world.
For the Romans, the month of January carried a special significance. Its name was derived from the two-faced deity Janus, the god of change and beginnings. Janus was seen to be looking back at the old and ahead to the new, and this idea became tied to the concept of transition from one year to the next.
Romans would celebrate January 1 by giving offerings to Janus in the hope of gaining good fortune for the new year. This day was seen as setting the stage for the next twelve months. According to Ovid, most Romans also chose to work for at least part of New Year’s Day, as idleness was seen as a bad omen for the rest of the year.
So start your year the right way with retrospection and introspection! Be safe and have fun!