From Janus to Emerson, It’s a New Year

For many a new year means a New Year’s Resolution. Some may be heading back to the gym and others are trying to quit drinks Cokes. Whatever you choose, if you do, there is nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself or setting goals.

New Year stems from the ancient Roman custom of the feast of the god Janus. He was the Roman god of doorways and beginnings. We also get the name January from Janus. The ancient Roman was known for his two faces: one that looks forward to the future and one that looks back to the past.

The way the calendar is planned out also helps with scheduling agriculture for the Northern Hemisphere. December brings the shortest day of the year, but January brings the lengthening of days. We also find that Earth is closest to the sun in its orbit during our New Year, this event is called perihelion.

Whichever way you look at New Year, whether its by history or by setting a resolution, new beginnings are always exciting. But what is most important is not to wait for a specific date or start of something to begin improving yourself. Each day is a new beginning waiting to be taken advantage of.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote:

“Write it on your heart

that every day is the best day in the year.

He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day

who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.

Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;

begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit

to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,

with its hopes and invitations,

to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

Sources:

  1. https://earthsky.org/earth/why-does-the-new-year-begin-on-january-1/
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/427002-write-it-on-your-heart-that-every-day-is-the

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