Hey, New Year Lads and Lasses!
Ready to ring in the new year for 2014? This holiday’s traditions are a little more self-explanatory than, say carving a pumpkin or keeping evergreens in our houses. The New Year’s tradition is to stay up late—until midnight—counting down the seconds to the start of the coming year. It’s pretty straightforward.
Traditions couldn’t have gotten too confused for such a simple holiday, right? Well, people have been celebrating New Years for the last 4000 years! That’s a long time to play the proverbial game of telephone from year to year, attempting to keep our traditions the same.
Surprisingly enough, it’s not so much our traditions that have changed over time for this holiday but rather the day of the holiday that’s changed over the last four millennia. That’s right, believe it or not, the new year was not always on January 1. Well, how can that be? you might be asking yourself. How can the new year change days?
Well, it’s not so much that the new year changed days so much as people started using different calendars (or even making up their own). The ancient Babylonians used to celebrate their New Year’s Day late in March around the vernal equinox.
The original Roman calendar only had 10 months and consisted of slightly over 300 days. But in the year 46 B.C., Julius Caeser first introduced his Julian calendar (which most resembles the Gregorian calendar, most commonly used in the modern day), he had to add 90 extra days just to make it all work.
In any case, whether people based their calendars off of earthly matters or the motion and arrangement of heavenly bodies, what’s important is that we continue to celebrate the passing of the old year and the coming of the new one.
From everyone at Everything Summer Camp, Happy New Year’s, Everybody!