Why do people put so much effort into celebrating the turn of a calendar page? Could there be more to why they celebrate New Year’s Day?
I came across the article “Making Sense of the “12 Days of Christmas’” that emphasizes that New Year’s Day is simply a part of the entire pagan Christmas holiday. I created the latest wiki article starting with that as a base.
New Year's Day is celebrated on 1 January on the Gregorian calendar throughout much of the world. Often, people revel and drink in celebration to see in the new year. The manner of celebration should be a good indicator that it is not truly Christian in origin.
In many ancient cultures, the calendar year started in the spring. This is still evident in our current calendar, as September through December mean "seventh" through "tenth" months, as the year began in March.
However, the belief that the sun god died and was resurrected at the winter solstice had a lot to do with moving the beginning of the calendar year to winter. Even after the so-called "Christianization" of Rome, the New Year was often celebrated on 25 December, as the "sun god" pagan worship was transferred to the "Son of God".
Originally, January and February were placed at the end of the year, but it was Julius Caesar who formally moved the beginning of the calendar to 1 January. January is named after the god Janus, who was the god of beginnings and endings, and whose face looked both backwards and forwards.
Later, Christians adopted the celebrations of the season of Christmas. Many celebrated [twelve days of Christmas], while some adopted a longer period and some shorter. In general, the season ended on Epiphany, 6 January. This is why many still hold to the tradition that Christmas lights and decorations are taken down a week after New Year's Day.
Essentially, not only does New Year's Day honor a pagan god, but it is the midpoint in the Christmas season.
God gave no instructions to celebrate the new year, pagan or otherwise. However, He obviously intended for it to be marked, as the biblical feasts needed to scheduled for.
In the Bible, the new year begins in the spring. Passover takes place in the spring, and God directly related the beginning of the year to Moses.
2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
~ Ex 12:2
The month they came out is the only one named in the first five books of the Bible. It is called "Abib", which means "green ears". It is a reference to the ears of barley.
3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
4 This day came ye out in the month Abib.
In Lev 23:10-14, we see that the wave sheaf offering took place in this month. After that, they were allowed to begin the barley harvest (thus, the "green ears").
Holidays or holy days
New Year's Day is full of pagan symbolism. In the determination of Holy days or holidays?, it should be evident that this holiday does not please God.