Why we celebrate New Year’s Day on Jan 1 only? - The Fearless Indian
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Why we celebrate New Year’s Day on Jan 1 only?

  • Mrinalini Singh
  • December 30, 2017
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The entire world is preparing to ring in a new year with a fresh start, resolutions, and celebrations with friends and family. But, have you wondered why we celebrate New Year on January 1 and not on March 1 or February 1? If you have, then you probably already know what we are about to reveal you, but if you don’t, then tighten your seat belts and read carefully.

Earlier, in the Roman period had a deity named Janus who was the deity of doorways and beginnings. He had two faces, one in the front to look ahead in the future and one at the back to look behind the past. The name of the month ‘January’ came from the deity “Janus” name. At the time when Julian calendar was being created, Julius Caesar found it right to have January as the first month of the year as it marks the doorway to a new year.

The individuals who used to make a calendar in earlier days were unaware of the fact that there’s an astronomical logic behind beginning the year on January 1. Our planet is always closest to the sun its yearly orbit around this time. This particular event is known as ‘perihelion’ and hence, it’s another reason to mark a new beginning. Another reason behind celebrating January 1 as a New Year I also because of the Northern hemisphere witnesses the shortest day of the year in December and by early January, our days start getting longer again.

The initial New Year celebration is believed to be recorded in the state of Mesopotamia, circa 2000 B.C. After several other ancient celebrations of the New Year followed. These were celebrated around the month of March at 20th, the time of the fresh equinox. While the Egyptians Phoenicians and Persians began their New Year with a blooming equinox around September 20, the Greeks celebrated it on the winter height, around the month of December 20th.

In India, however, we follow the Julian calendar, several religions, cultures, and geographies celebrate their own New Year. In the Southern states of India like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka, Ugadi is celebrated. In Maharashtra and Goa, Gudi Padwa is celebrated. Baisakhi marks the New Year in few Northern regions, especially in Punjab.

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