Sunday, January 1, 2017

927. January 1st New Year Day.....

January 1st is considered the commencement of a new year as per the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar which is now accepted internationally was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in the year 1582.    

For many ancient civilizations the New Year begins around the time of the Vernal Equinox. This is slightly perplexing to know about. For those in the Northern Hemisphere the tilt of the earth towards Sun marks the advent of spring and it happens in March, while for those in the Southern Hemisphere the spring is in September as the tilt towards the Sun happens at that time. Whatever might be the region the New Year was commemorated at the beginning of the Spring season. The reason was obvious that at those times agriculture was the primary way of life. Hence for a few countries the New Year was in March while for some countries it was in September.     

Earlier Romans started the New Year on March 1st and had only 10 months in their calendar. There was no January & February in their calendar, so we have September which suggests the Sapta (seventh) month and October Octa (eighth) month, Nova (ninth) November and finally Deca (tenth) month as December. 

In 45 B.C the Roman King Julius Ceasar introduced a calendar similar to our ancient Solar calendar based on the time taken for the Sun to revolve around the earth (as in those times it was believed that Sun was orbiting the earth). He named the first month January after the Roman God Janus, the God of Heaven Gates (I find it amazingly coincidental that the Roman Emperor used the word “God of Heaven Gates” and we Hindus believed that the Gates of Vaikunta is open on “Vaikunta Ekadashi” which is around the same time the fag end of December or the start of January). The first day of the month January thus became the New Year Day since then. 

After the birth of Jesus Christ and the raise of Christian Church, celebrating January 1st as New Year was considered unchristian and pagan, so they abolished it.  Again in medieval times the confusion prevailed on which was the New Year Day and so different regions chose different days to welcome the New Year. It was at that time the then Pope of Vatican, Gregory XIII made January 1st the New Year Day giving the justification that it was eight days after Jesus Christ was born (25th December). Thus the Gregorian calendar came into existence. But then the Protestant countries were reluctant to accept this fearing the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on their tribe. It took them 200 years to adapt to the Gregorian calendar, and by that time the British Empire had set foot on all the continents and started thrusting their colonial rule.        
We Indians have no confusions at all on the New Year Day. Those following the Solar Calendar welcome the New Year on the day when the Sun enters the Markara Rasi (Capricorn) which is normally on January 14th or 15th. This is called Makara Sankramana. Those who follow the Lunar Calendar celebrate the New Year in Chaitra Masa (Chaitra Shuddha Padyami) the day next to the new moon which is almost similar to the Vernal Equinox. It is called Yugadi (the beginning of the Yuga). This dictum which was made by the ancients according to the astronomical analysis has never changed and will never change. Do you know why???

Simple, the Sanatana Dharma way of calculations on the time, date, month and year is based on the movements of either Sun or Moon. Sanatana Dharma has always marched forward in tandem with Law of Cosmos never at the say of some emperor or some religious institution.    
Though there were confusions and amendments made to the calendar, all the civil calendars world-wide accept this Gregorian calendar and so January 1st is the New Year Day.   

I take this opportunity to wish all my friends a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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