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GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-03, 03:17 PM
I have a small question that i've always wanted to know the answer for:
why is the first of january the new year? why this date what is so special astronomicaly about this date?

Kaptain K
2002-Jan-03, 03:29 PM
There is nothing special "astronomically" about January 1st. It is the first day of the year because somebody a long time ago (probably J. Caesar) declared it so. January is named for the Roman god Janus, the two faced god who looked both forward and backward. January is the month that looks both forward to the new year and backward to the old.

Hale_Bopp
2002-Jan-03, 03:34 PM
Really? I thought it was because there was a large sign out in space that said "Go" that we passed on January 1st and everyone collected $200 /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Seriously, other cultures do celbrate the New Year at different times. The Chinese New Year is coming up soon. Others have celebrated New Year's on an equinox or solstice.

In answer to your question, its pretty much an arbitrary choice.

Rob

GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-03, 03:39 PM
right, from now on i declare september 10th new year!!!
(my date of birth)
ok well thanks i didn't think there'd be any real science behind it but just wanted to make sure.

sorry i forgot that there has to be 364.25 days a year that means my year would be off by some 112 days so forget my new new year date. sorry for any problems caused.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: GENIUS'02 on 2002-01-03 10:44 ]</font>

Wiley
2002-Jan-03, 03:44 PM
I recently saw the PBS special on the Vatican, and they said that Jan. 1 as the new year was due Pope Gregory. When he and his lackeys did the new calendar, he proclaimed January 1 as the beginning of the year. Before that the new year was celebrated in the spring, like almost every other culture.

aurorae
2002-Jan-03, 03:46 PM
On 2002-01-03 10:29, Kaptain K wrote:
There is nothing special "astronomically" about January 1st. It is the first day of the year because somebody a long time ago (probably J. Caesar) declared it so. January is named for the Roman god Janus, the two faced god who looked both forward and backward. January is the month that looks both forward to the new year and backward to the old.



This web site explains it in a nice overview fashion:

http://wilstar.com/holidays/newyear.htm

Before the Romans moved it to January, the people in that part of the world celebrated the New Year in the spring.

Anyone remember when the Mayans had the new year on their calendar?

2002-Jan-04, 12:14 PM
On 2002-01-03 10:46, aurorae wrote: To: 5:39 A.M. HUb'


On 2002-01-03 10:29, Kaptain K wrote:
There is nothing special "astronomically" about January 1st. It is the first day of the year because somebody a long time ago (probably J. Caesar) declared it so. January is named for the Roman god Janus, the two faced god who looked both forward and backward. January is the month that looks both forward to the new year and backward to the old.



This web site explains it in a nice overview fashion:

http://wilstar.com/holidays/newyear.htm

Before the Romans moved it to January, the people in that part of the world celebrated the New Year in the spring.

Anyone remember when the Mayans had the new year on their calendar?
HUb'5:39 A.M. Although I use the Mayan Days {daily} I do
NOT understand their divisions of time. I do believe
that there concept of time was different. based upon a Base 20 numbering system with a major interval being 13x20 or 260 days.. Commonly called the Mayan Year.

GrapesOfWrath
2003-Jan-09, 06:27 AM
On 2002-01-03 10:29, Kaptain K wrote:
There is nothing special "astronomically" about January 1st.
I'm not so sure about that. Sirius transits very nearly at midnight on January 1. I'm not the first to notice this--in fact I didn't realize it until just now--but there are a few people out there who think that is significant.

Of course, it depends upon where you are within your time zone, but for Greenwich at midnight, it is very close.

Celestial Mechanic
2003-Jan-09, 06:47 PM
On 2002-01-03 10:44, Wiley wrote:
I recently saw the PBS special on the Vatican, and they said that Jan. 1 as the new year was due Pope Gregory. When he and his lackeys did the new calendar, he proclaimed January 1 as the beginning of the year. Before that the new year was celebrated in the spring, like almost every other culture.
In fact, before 1582 (Spain, France, Italy), early 1700s (rest of continental Europe), 1752 (Great Britain and colonies), the year started on March 25, so that, say, 1580 March 24 was followed by 1581 March 25. Talk about confusing!

As an odd aside, if there had been a calendar on display when George Washington was born, it would have read 1731 February 11. After Britain and the colonies changed to the Gregorian calendar (by dropping 11 days from September 1752), Washington declared his birthdate to be 1732 February 22 in accord with the "New Style". Anyone doing genealogy has to be aware of dates near this time being rendered with "OS" for old style and (sometimes) "NS" for new style.

cable
2003-Jan-09, 08:20 PM
I have a small question that i've always wanted to know the answer for:
why is the first of january the new year? why this date what is so special astronomicaly about this date?

How about April 1st ??
in France they used to celebrate new year on the 1st of April ...
then, in the 16th century, they changed calendar and made it 1st January.
BUT folk in remote regions in France, didn't know about the change. and even when they were told, they could not believe it.
that's why they were laughing on them, telling them stupid stories, offering them a fish ... !!!
the famous ...April Fish /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif