A History of New Years

In 46 B.C.E. the Roman emperor Julius Caesar first established January 1 as New Year’s day. Janus was the Roman god of doors and gates, and had two faces, one looking forward and one back.  Caesar felt that the month named after this god (“January”) would be the appropriate “door” to the year.  Caesar celebrated the first January 1 New Year by ordering the violent routing of revolutionary Jewish forces in the Galilee.  Eyewitnesses say blood flowed in the streets.  In later years, Roman pagans observed the New Year by engaging in drunken orgies—a ritual they believed constituted a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was ordered by the gods.

As Christianity spread, pagan holidays were either incorporated into the Christian calendar or abandoned altogether.  By the early medieval period most of Christian Europe regarded Annunciation Day (March 25) as the beginning of the year.  (According to Catholic tradition, Annunciation Day commemorates the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would be impregnated by G-d and conceive a son to be called Jesus.)

    After William the Conqueror (AKA “William the Bastard” and “William of Normandy”) became King of England on December 25, 1066, he decreed that the English return to the date established by the Roman pagans, January 1.  This move ensured that the commemoration of Jesus’ birthday (December 25) would align with William’s coronation, and the commemoration of Jesus’ circumcision (January 1) would start the new year – thus rooting the English and Christian calendars and his own Coronation).  William’s innovation was eventually rejected, and England rejoined the rest of the Christian world and returned to celebrating New Years Day on March 25.

    About five hundred years later, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII (AKA “Ugo Boncompagni”, 1502-1585) abandoned the traditional Julian calendar.  By the Julian reckoning, the solar year comprised 365.25 days, and the intercalation of a “leap day” every four years was intended to maintain correspondence between the calendar and the seasons.  Really, however there was a slight inaccuracy in the Julian measurement (the solar year is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds = 365.2422 days).  This slight inaccuracy caused the Julian calendar to slip behind the seasons about one day per century.  Although this regression had amounted to 14 days by Pope Gregory’s time, he based his reform on restoration of the vernal equinox, then falling on March 11, to the date had 1,257 years earlier when Council of Nicaea was convened (March 21, 325 C.E.).  Pope Gregory made the correction by advancing the calendar 10 days.  The change was made the day after October 4, 1582, and that following day was established as October 15, 1582.  The Gregorian calendar differs from the Julian in three ways:  (1) No century year is a leap year unless it is exactly divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600, 2000, etc.); (2) Years divisible by 4000 are common (not leap) years; and (3) once again the New Year would begin with the date set by the early pagans, the first day of the month of Janus – January 1.

    On New Years Day 1577 Pope Gregory XIII decreed that all Roman Jews, under pain of death, must listen attentively to the compulsory Catholic conversion sermon given in Roman synagogues after Friday night services.  On New Years Day 1578 Gregory signed into law a tax forcing Jews to pay for the support of a “House of Conversion” to convert Jews to Christianity.  On New Years 1581 Gregory ordered his troops to confiscate all sacred literature from the Roman Jewish community.  Thousands of Jews were murdered in the campaign.

    Throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, January 1 – supposedly the day on which Jesus’ circumcision initiated the reign of Christianity and the death of Judaism – was reserved for anti-Jewish activities: synagogue and book burnings, public tortures, and simple murder.

    The Israeli term for New Year’s night celebrations, “Sylvester,” was the name of the “Saint” and Roman Pope who reigned during the Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.).  The year before the Council of Nicaea convened, Sylvester convinced Constantine to prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem.  At the Council of Nicaea, Sylvester arranged for the passage of a host of viciously anti-Semitic legislation.  All Catholic “Saints” are awarded a day on which Christians celebrate and pay tribute to that Saint’s memory.  December 31 is Saint Sylvester Day – hence celebrations on the night of December 31 are dedicated to Sylvester’s memory.

U.S. News and World Report December 23, 1996

Source: http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/newyearshistory/

Origins of the names of days and months

Did you know that the names of our months and week days have their roots in paganism? If numbering the days was good enough for God, why did we change them? Why, if we wanted to name them, were they named in honor of pagan deities?

Days of the week:

The First Day: Sunday was named after the Sun god.

The second Day: Monday was named after the moon goddess.

The Third Day: Tuesday was named after the god Tyr.

The Fourth Day: Wednesday was named after the god Odin.

The Fifth Day: Thursday was named after the god Thor.

The Sixth Day: Friday was named after the goddess Frigga.

The Seventh Day: Saturday was named after the god Saturn.

Is GOD pleased with the names of week days?

Where did we get the names for the days of the week?

Sunday: The first day of the week According to Colliers Sierra 1998 Encyclopedia: From prehistoric times until the fifth century AD, sun worship was the most common religion. In EgyptAton, the sun disk, was used as a symbol of Ra, the sun god in Egyptian religion. This symbol was found in the oldest pyramids. When the Israelites came to Palestine,they found sun worshippers using the form of Baal-hammon. The latter part of the title means “sun images”. Sunday got its name from the “day of the sun worshippers”. Should Christians use Sunday as a worship day just because the sun worshippers did?

 Monday, The second day of the week, gets its name from the ancient observance of feast days dedicated to the moon as a goddess or a planet. Most European Calendars list a day sacred to the moon.

 Tuesday, the third day of the week, gets its name from Tiw’s day. Tiw is derived from Tyr of Tir, the son of Odin, or Woden, the Norse god of war.

 Wednesday, the fourth day of the week, gets its name from the Scandinavian Woden, the chief deity of Norse mythology. In Anglo-Saxon, it appears as Wodnesdaeg.

Thursday, the fifth day of the week, gets its name from the middle English Thoresday or Thursdaye. Thor, the god of strength and thunder, is the counterpart of Jupiter or Jove.

 Friday, the sixth day of the week, gets its name from Frigg. This is the name given to the wife of the god Odin & meaning “beloved” or “loving”. Its corresponding Latin name is Dies Veneris, a day dedicated to Venus.

Saturday, the seventh day of the week, gets its name from the Roman “Dies Saturni”, or the day of Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture. This is the only day of the week that takes its name from a Roman deity.



Named for Janus, the Roman mighty one of portals and patron of beginnings and endings, to whom this month was sacred. He is shown as having two faces, one in front, the other at the back of his head, supposedly to symbolize his powers.


This name is derived from Februa, a Roman festival of purification. It was originally the month of expiation.


It is named for Mars, the Roman mighty one of war.


This name comes from the Latin APRILIS, indicating a time of Fertility. It was believed that this month is the month when the earth was supposed to open up for the plants to grow.


This month was named for Maia, the Roman female deity of growth or increase.


This name is sometimes attributed to June, the female mighty one of the marriage, the wife of Jupiter in Roman mythology. She was also called the “Queen of heaven” and ” Queen of mighty ones.” The name of this month is also attributed to Junius Brutus, but originally it most probably referred to the month in which crops grow to ripeness.


Named for the Roman emperor Julius Caesar, this is the seventh month of the Gregorian year.


Named for Octavius Augustus Caesar, emperor of Rome; the name was originally from augure, which means, “to increase.”


This name is derived from the Latin septem, meaning “seven.”


This name comes from the Latin root octo, meaning “eight.”


This name is derived from Latin novem, meaning “ninth.”


This name is derived from the Latin decem, meaning “ten.

Just something to think about? Would you celebrate something that you know that God(the creator of the heavens and the earth) is infuriated or angry about?  I don’t think so.

“Verily whosoever sets up partners in worship with God, then God Has forbidden paradise for him and the fire will be his abode’ [The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 5, Verse 72]”

“Then did you think that We created you in vain and that to Us you would not be returned?  Therefore exalted be God, the Sovereign, the Truth; no deity is there save Him, Lord of the Supreme Throne. (Quran 23:115-116)”

‘And verily, it had been revealed to you (O Muhammad ) as has been revealed to those before you. If you join others in worship with Allaah (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain and you will certainly be among the losers. Nay! But worship Allaah(the creator of the heavens and the earth and all that exists) and be among grateful.’ [Quran 39:65-66]

“I have not created the jinn and humankind for any other purpose except that they should worship Me. (Al-Qur’an 51:56)”

“You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them. (Holy Quran 17:36)”

sources: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years ; https://www.infoplease.com/calendar-holidays/major-holidays/history-new-year ; https://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/newyearshistory/ ; https://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends-important-events/ancient-origins-new-year-s-celebrations-001181

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