Searching for A Universal New Year: The relevance of August 13th.

Searching for A Universal New Year: The relevance of August 13th.

Aug 12 2013

Presently there is no universal basis for what qualifies the start of a new year. Every culture has its own set of parameters for determining the start of the new year. The Chinese celebrate theirs in either late January or early February according their lunar calendar. The ancient Egyptians linked the appearance of the star Sirius and the annual flooding of the Nile river to signal the start of their new year. The many cultures of India celebrate the new year on various dates during the month of April. Europe’s Nordic cultures keyed it to the Winter solstice. The Celtic, Samhain, now vulgarized as Halloween, is celebrated by present day neopagans, Wiccans and Druids as the start of their new year. The Maori of New Zealand looked for the appearance of the Pleiades in May to signal the start of the new year. The Hawaiians also pegged their new year to the appearance of the Pleiades, but their new year fell in October. The Aztec-Mexicas celebrated the new year in early March several days before the spring equinox. Even the Maya celebrate 2 different new years dates. One equates to February 22 and some celebrate July 26th. And then there is Gregorian January 1st to mark the start of the new year for Westerners. January 1st was arrived at as the start of the new year in order to honor Julius Ceasar’s exploit as the founder of the “rational calendar”. Contrast that line of reasoning with the fact that the new year of non-western cultures is related to some seasonal and/or astronomical aspect. The foregoing is why I refer to the Gregorian calendar as an urban...