Is New Year’s Day Really January 1st?


It was Julius Caesar who updated the Roman calendar in 45 B.C. when the Julian calendar went into effect.

Greetings and Happy Holidays to you! It’s time to celebrate once again – out with the old and in with the new. Then at 12 midnight December 31st, that famous brightly lit ball made up of 2,600 Waterford crystal triangles begins falling in New York’s Times Square ushering in the New Year. But why do we celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st? New Year’s Day was celebrated for the first time on January 1st in 45 B.C. on the Julian calendar.

Michael Hart, political, cultural, history radio commentator and author explains, “In those days, the then-observed Roman calendar had only 10 months, so March 1 was New Year’s Day. [Ancient] Mesopotamia instituted the concept of this celebration about 2,000 years before the birth of Christ.”

He continued, “In March, Babylonians would follow the fist new moon following the vernal equinox, celebrating the New Year with a festival called Akitu, according to historians. The new date of January 1 took effect after Julius Caesar, not long after becoming Rome’s dictator, decided that the traditional Roman calendar was in need of serious changes. The previously used Roman calendar, which was introduced sometime during the seventh century B.C., comprised 12 lunar months of 29 or 30 days, which added up to 355 days each year. Prior to 45 B.C., the Roman calendar faced issues including abuse by those who oversaw it, in the form of adding days to interfere with elections or prolong a leader’s political rule.”

As for an attempt of the calendar to follow the lunar cycle, it was fruitless because the calendar often needed corrections once it fell out of phase with the seasons, according to historians. The Julian calendar made up one year consisting of 365 and one-quarter days. Additionally, Caesar added a day to February every four years. Even though the Julian calendar was popular and widely used, some regions still chose dates in March and September to mark the start of a new year.

Historian Nicole DeRise explains, “According to some sources, New Year’s Day was also celebrated on December 25 and March 25, but reestablished on January 1 by Pope Gregory XIII.”

The Gregorian calendar

The Gregorian calendar is used throughout most of the world today. It came in use during 1582. And this calendar replaced the previous Julian calendar because it had an error. “It added a leap year (with an extra day every four years) with no exceptions. The length of the Julian year was exactly 365.25 days (365 days and 6 hours), but the actual time it takes for the Earth to go around the Sun once is closer to 365.2425 days (about 365 days, 5 hours and 49 minutes). This difference is about eleven minutes each year.”


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Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …

Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …

~ Kobee Manatee