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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Resolutions...Why I Hate them with Every Fiber of my Being! Well, maybe not EVERY fiber of my being...Just most fibers.


        Who am I kidding?  Why do I even bother even THINKING about making these things called, "Resolutions?"  And who's bright idea was it to make such things, that are doomed to failure even as I write them down?
So I did a bit of research, through my faviorite research tool (and no, it is not Wikipedia).  I pulled up Google, and was very surprised at how old this tradition is.
Before 153 BC early Romans used March as the beginning of the year as it was Spring, and planting season.  In 153 BC.  King Janus (mythical), was purportedly able to look backwards on past events, and forward to the future.  During this time, many Romans sought forgiveness from their enemies, and exchanged gifts before the new year.  To seek forgiveness was looked upon favorably by Janus.
Fast forward to Julius Caesar in 46 BC when the Calendar we use today was created, which more accurately reflected the changing seasons (The Julian Calendar).  This was when January 1, became the New Year.  Before then, it had changed many times depending on who was Caesar at the time. King Janus, well he was promoted to God status.  He had two faces, one on the front of his head, and one on his back.  On December 31 at midnight, it was believed that God Janus could see both the last year just passed, and see into the future simultaneously.  It is on the 31st that Romans made promises to him, so that he might help them with those promises.
If that was not enough of a position, he was also the God of beginnings, and guardian of doors and entrances.  January is named after old Janus.  Early gifts included branches off of sacred trees, then nuts and coins were embossed with the face of Janus.
In the middle ages these practices were stopped by the rise of the Christian faith, and the change of the first of the year to Dec. 25 (the birthdate of Christ).  This was changed later back to January first by Pope Gregory XIII, but the Catholic Church eradicated all traces of Janus from the celebrations, though the return of resolutions emerged.
Though I will not go into the other cultures of the world, I find it fascinating that different cultures celebrate the new year differently at different times.  So the next "New Year" I will do a blog for it as well.  This will be the Chinese New Year.
Oh, and my resolutions?  Well, the only one I'm going to say is that I resolve to get one of my Nano Novels finished, and to do a blog every week, at least once a week.

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