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  • Mitra Swayamdeep

The New Year


The new year.

What is it? Why do we celebrate??

Is there any history??

or a reason to celebrate??


Is it the earth's birthday??

or it's a religious practice??

or a tradition??

or it's merely a momentary festivity??


A year comes, a year goes,

With every new year,

we look ahead with hope...

Isn't? Isn't that a false hope??


We celebrate the end,

We celebrate the new beginning,

We are celebrating for the YEAR to come,

Then why it is momentary, limited to a day??

Why only for the celebration, we have the energy??


Isn't the new year a never-ending cycle??

To feel bad about the present,

To let go the past,

To live by the hope,

To revisit the cycle again and again??


Who were we a year ago or before that??

Who are we now??

What happened to the resolutions before??

What will make the difference with the new vows??


We are trapped in the jumbled emotions,

In the busiest lives of self & society,

momentary happiness,

momentary change,

are just momentary,

not a better life.


Ask yourself for once,

what makes you happy for the new year,

Is it the happiness of letting the past go??

Or to enter a new blank chapter???

Or taking the resolution or the momentary happiness??


Several customs, several cultures,

So does regions, or the religions,

Have their own rituals,

of new year traditions...


A new year can be better,

Not with a resolution,

But with determination,

Not with the expectations,

But with the actions.


If it's just a celebration for the new year,

celebrate it each and every day,

A year will always come, a year will always go,

yet a new day, a new beginning comes every day.


Whatever reason you have to celebrate the new year,

don't let it be momentary happiness,

don't live by the false hope,

Remember the change is in your hands,

You are the master of your own.


Some interesting information about calendars; we must know why we celebrate New Year on January 1st every year.

I have always been curious about the history of calendars and time. It is very interesting to know about the history of calendars. Several New Year traditions are celebrated every year having different new year dates. Globally January 1st is celebrated as the beginning of new year under the Gregorian calendar which was a modification from Julian Calendar, which itself was a successor to the Roman Calendar. I had questions; if sept means seven, oct means eight, nov means nine, and dec means ten, then why is December the last month of the year?? Isn't logically February should be the last month??? Also to notice we are taught February has fewer days because of leap year calculations, but we are not taught why February is so lucky to have fewer days.


The Roman Calendar initially had 10 months, which began with March and ended on December, and being the 10th and last month it was called December. January and February were added later to it at the beginning of the calendar. The reason why January became the first month is because; January has derived its name from the Roman God Janus also known as the God of the Beginnings, and though February was added following January, the remaining days of the years were added to it in the end, which led to less number of days in February. The calendars have been modified several times. The major reform in the Roman calendar was done by Julius Caesar, which followed the pattern and was practiced for a very long time. The interesting part is people used to celebrate the new year earlier on 1st March and then on 1st January, but the authenticity and accuracy of calendars were challenged every time. Pope Gregory XIII modified the Julian Calendar with proper accuracy and calculations and implemented it on 4th October 1582. The miscalculation in Julian Calendar was rectified with an 11-day jump in the calendar. Really, 11 days jump, 4th October 1582 was next day followed by 15th October 1582 in form of new Gregorian Calendar and it was continued and is practiced globally.


Here, in India, we ourselves have several different practices of the new year in form of Baisakhi, Bihu, Gudi Padwa, Nutan Varsh, Puthandu, Vishu, etc. depending on the region, culture. Also don't forget, birthdays, anniversaries themselves are the new year of their own. Hence, it doesn't really matter what a new year brings, or how we celebrate, but it is good if we are conscious about what we celebrate and why. It is better to celebrate every day rather than wait for a year to end and a year to begin. It is better to practice change rather than a desire for change.


Also, we believe that by celebrating new year's day or following Gregorian Calendar we are being influenced by western culture. I agree we are very much influenced by western culture in terms of actions, behavior, celebration. If we talk about accepting the Gregorian Calendar it is accepted all over because of its scientific accuracy, as earlier calendars were based on lunar positions/movements, and they have more or fewer days than the current calendar. Gregorian Calendar is based on the revolution of Earth around the sun. If we observe Indian calendars, they follow the lunar movement, i.e. the dates of the calendar are based on the movement of the moon, hence festival dates change and are different every year.


Thank You for reading, I hope it was interesting and you learned something new.


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