New Year’s Day
New Year’s was originally celebrated by the Babylonians in 4000 BCE. The Roman Emperor Julius Caesar made it official in 46 BCE. As background, the month of January was named after Janus the Roman god who had two faces – one looking backward and the other looking forward. Julius thought the New Year should be celebrated in January since Janus was also the god of doors and gates which metaphorically could mean opening up the “door or gate” to another year.
While there is an extensive history of New Year’s Day being the impetus for action, today we celebrate a sense of renewal. Like Janus’s two faces, we look back on the year we are closing and how we handled it through a mixture of good and bad; and we look ahead to another year and how we might do it better by changing a few things.
Thus, we make resolutions to target the best version of ourselves both physically and mentally. Most New Year’s resolutions last for an average of two weeks and then we revert back to the frailties of being human. Perhaps we can work harder to stretch it a little longer in 2022.
Happy New Year.
Patrick J. Wood
Author of “Dear Reader” and “Tapestry of Love and Loss”