New Year’s Day

@RasmaSandra (19041)
Daytona Beach, Florida
January 3, 2017 12:48pm CST
It is really amazing to think that as the Julian calendar took effect for the very first time in history New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1 in 45 B.C. Once Roman dictator Julius Caesar came into power he decided that the Roman calendar needed reforming. Around the seventh century B.C. the calendar followed the lunar cycle but at certain times it fell out of phase as the seasons changed and needed to be corrected. Another problem was that the pontifices, the Roman body who was in charge of the calendar would try to abuse its authority and even went so far as to add days just to extend political terms or to interfere with elections. You can imagine how troublesome this could be today if people had the power to play around with the calendar. Seeing the need for change and for a new calendar Caesar looked for help from Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer. The astronomer advised him to do away with the lunar cycle and to follow along with the solar year, the same as the Egyptians did. It was calculated that there were 365 and ¼ days in the year and Caesar added 67 days to 45 B.C. so that now the year began on January 1 instead of March. It was also Caesar that decreed that every four years a day should be added to February so that the calendar would never fall out of step. Not long after he died in 44 B.C. Caesar changed the month known as Quintilis to Julius or July after himself. Later on the month Sextilis was changed to Augustus or August after his successor. In the Middle Ages celebrating New Year’s Day in January fell out of practice and even those who followed the Julian calendar no longer observed the New Year on January 1. The problem was that Caesar and Sosigenes hadn’t correctly calculated the correct value for the solar year as 365.242199 days not 365.25 days. What this meant was that an 11-minute-a-year error added seven days by the time the year 1000 rolled around and 10 days by the mid-15th century. When the Roman church realized the problem, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned Jesuit astronomer Christopher Clavius to come up with a new calendar in the 1570s. The Gregorian calendar was implemented in 1582 and it omitted 10 days for that year and added a new rule that stated that only one of every four centennial years should be a leap year. So ever since people have celebrated January 1 as New Year’s Day.
On this day in History, New Year’s Day on Jan 01, 45 B.C.. Learn more about what happened today on History.
2 people like this
1 response
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
3 Jan 17
It was only the papal states such as Spain, France and Italy that adopted the Gregorian so early. Here in Britain we only introduced it in 1752, causing 11 days to need omitting from our calendar that year.
@RasmaSandra (19041)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
5 Jan 17
Thank you for the info @Asylum Hope you are enjoying this New Year.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48266)
• Manchester, England
5 Jan 17
@RasmaSandra The year has been fine so far and should improve on Monday when I take a holiday.
1 person likes this