New Year Traditions
New Year’s resolutions actually go back to ancient times, when the Babylonians resolved to return borrowed farm equipment to medieval knights who would renew their vow to chivalry. In 2000 B.C. the Babylonians celebrated the New Year during a 12-day festival called Akitu. This was the start of the farming season to plant crops, crown their king, and make promises to pay their debts.
The Babylonian New Year was adopted by the ancient Romans but the timing shifted with the Julian calendar in 46 B.C., which declared January 1st as the start of the new year.
January was named for the two-faced Roman god, Janus, who looks forward for new beginnings as well as backward for reflection and resolution. The Romans would offer sacrifices to Janus and make promises of good behavior for the year ahead.
Janus was also the guardian of gates and doors. He presided over the temple of peace, where the doors were opened only during wartime. It was a place of safety, where new beginnings and new resolutions could be forged.
So, New Year’s Resolutions are still a tradition but the type of resolutions have changed a bit. Resolutions have migrated from denying physical indulgences to general self-improvement, like losing weight. The problem is KEEPING those resolutions! But you can’t open new doors with old keys.
So, set realistic and attainable goals, be persistent, be dedicated, have accountability and go forward with a positive frame of mind. We have left behind so much negativity, it is time to make good things happen. WE WILL!