Karl Theodor von Piloty painting of The Murder of Julius Caesar 1865

               Karl Theodor von Piloty painting of The Murder of Julius Caesar 1865

New Year’s Day is one of the oldest holidays celebrated by mankind.  Historically it originated in Babylon.  Babylon was a kingdom founded in Mesopotamia, 18th-6th century B.C., today known as Iraq. The Babylonians celebrated the New Year for eleven days on the first day of spring. Every culture in the ancient world celebrated New Year’s Day at different times of the year.

With the growth of the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar wanted to simplify the calendar for all the empire.  Working with Sosigenes, the Egyptian astronomer and scholar from Alexandria, the Julian calendar was established.

Sosigenes was the brainchild of the Egyptian Calendar based on the movement of the sun. He divided the year on 365 ¼ days, 12 months. Each month was given 30-31 days, except for February with 28 days. Every fourth year (leap year) February was reduced to 23 days. The Egyptian calendar became the  model for the Julian calendar.

Julius Caesar decreed that New Year’s Day would be celebrated on January 1st.   And New Year's Day remains the oldest holiday celebrated by mankind.

Happy New Year!