During my search for the origins of Baby New Year, I came across some interesting tidbits. Did you know that making resolutions has been traced back to the ancient Babylonians? Truly! To think we have been at this for roughly 4,000 years! I wonder if they were any better at keeping resolutions than I’ve been in the past? I am guessing no, and that breaking them wasn’t far behind their initial invention, since that seems to be a trend that is universal also. Or is it just me?
I also learned that Julius Caesar was the one who developed the Gregorian calendar in 46 B.C. that named January 1st as the first day of the year. The month was named in honor of Janus, the Roman God of new beginnings (among other things). He is depicted with two faces, one to see to the future and one to look to the past. His symbolism seems fitting as we still use this time of year to look back on the challenges and victories of the prior year while looking toward the promise of the new year ahead.
So what about the baby? Well, it seems that the baby symbolizes rebirth and the Greeks believed that their god of wine, Dionysus, was reborn each New Year’s. His rebirth symbolized fertility, and a baby would be paraded around in a basket during the celebration in his honor. Fertility and the earth’s ability to provide a good harvest were the focus of most of the celebrations in those days and wine played an important role in that. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking that also never really went away, since wine still plays an important role in many of the celebrations we have today. It also is often included in the equation that results in babies, but we won’t talk about that here… #KeepingitPG.
Some have said that throughout the year the baby ages into Father Time, and that at the end of the year, he turns over his responsibilities to the next baby New Year. I don’t know about you, but time goes fast enough already! That would be the worst job ever! And by the way, it would be nice of Father Time to slow his rolls a little, it seems like he is ticking away the days quicker and quicker each year. I could use a little slow motion in 2021, especially after the 2020 we had! How about you?
For all it’s pomp and celebration, New Year’s is about retrospect as well as looking to the future, and much like the god Janus, we need to continue to do both in order to take the best path for ourselves in the future ahead. I am thankful for the love of my family & friends, the support of my ever-growing network of writer peeps, and the continuous flow of stories that find their way from my head to my fingertips. I look forward to a new year filled with Love, Happiness, Health, and Writing. I hope the same for all of you in 2021!
Happy New Year and don’t forget to Embrace the Journey! XO
P.S. While talking about New Year traditions at work a few years back, I learned about the tradition of eating black-eyed peas and cornbread, which I never knew was a thing. Found this great article that lists several traditions from around the world that I thought would be fun to share.
For those who would like to learn more historical facts about the day, you can check out this post from History.com!