Wondering Why?

Why is January 1st the New Year?

Why is January 1st the New Year?

January 1 has been a special day to all because it is the beginning of the new year. But why is January 1 the first day of the year? Early Roman calendar actually designated March 1 as the new year. That old calendar had only ten months that begins in March. Tracing the meaning of the names of each month, September actually falls on the 7th months that’s why it’s named as that (septem for seven in Latin). October is the eight month (octo is eight) and so on. The months of January and February were not even part of the Early Roman Calendar.

It was just in 700 B.C. when Numa Pontilius, the second king of Rome added the months of January and February. January was then made as the first month of the year followed by February and March.

The old calendar was called as Julian Calendar only 10 months. However, as years pass by, the calendar became inaccurate because it could not determine the appropriate date of the Easter and it did not even match the solar year. With this, the Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII to correct the Julian Calendar. The Gregorian calendar has 365 days with 1 leap year. This calendar was accurate that Easter always falls upon the first Sunday after the first full moon.

There were still revisions in the Gregorian calendar before it was accepted for public use. Eleven days were removed from September and January was made as the first month rather than the eleventh month. The legal new year was also moved from March 25 to January 1.

However, protestants still do not consider the Gregorian calendar because it is introduced by a Catholic pope. But by observing the accuracy of the calendar, it was then adopted as the new calendar in 1752.


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