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The Western New Year's Day

http://www.chinese.cn 16:43, December 27, 2010 Confucius Institite Online

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The Western New Year's Day

In the year 46 B.C., Julius Caesar from ancient Rome set this day as the beginning of New Year for the western calendar, in order to bless Janus, who was the God of Gates in the Roman mythology and whose name later evolved into the English word "January"; It was originally misunderstood that the pope had set the year of Jesus' birth as the first year AD,and that the first of January is also related to Jesus. According to the most popular religion in the west,Christians still see 25th of December as New Year,this is the reason as to why New Year's Day is not celebrated as grandly as Christmas Day in the west.

Around 50000 B.C., ancient Egyptians shifted from being nomadic to farming,and settled by the River Nile. Their agricultural harvest had everything to do with the flood of River Nile. Through long periods of observation,the ancient Egyptians had discovered that there is a time pattern to floods of River Nile. They recorded the time of each flood on a bamboo pole,and found out that the average time between each flood is approximately 365 days; in addition,they also discovered that when the high tide of river Nile approaches the city of Cairo,the Sun and Sirius also simultaneously rise above the horizon at the same time. As a result,the ancient Egyptians set this day as the beginning of a New Year. This is the origin of the first "New Year's Day" and how it came about.

New Year's Day is to celebrate the start of a New Year. New Year's Celebration is a general custom in all regions of the world.

Nowadays,the majority of countries in the world see the 1st of January as the New Year's Day. As different countries are located at different longitudinal positions around the world,every country has a different time zone,thus the date of "New Year's Day" is also different. For example,the Oceania island of Tonga is located in the west of the international dateline,making it the first place in the world to start a new day,as well as the first country to celebrate New Years. Western Samoa however,is located in the east of the international dateline,and is the last place in the world to start a new day.

Afghanis see the spring equinox as the New Year's Day;the Jewish see the autumnal equinox as New Year's Day; the cold region of Eskimos has unfixed date for New Years,they regard the first rain as the New Year's Day. In 46 BC,the Roman emperor Julius Caesar formulated the Julian calendar. At first,he set the winter solstice as New Year's Day, however,his people insisted on setting the first day of the lunar month as the New Year's Day. As the result,the New Year's Day was postponed to be 10 days after the winter solstice.

According to the Gregorian calendar,China is the 12th country in the world to begin a New Year. Different countries have their own different celebrations,as they all have different history,culture,religion,and ethnic habits. However,this has made the world more colorful with more regional and national characteristics.


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