Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Commentary: Happy New Year?

by Guy C. LaMar

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Here are various sources on this so-called New Year.

The Encyclopædia Britannica (1998):
“The earliest-known record of a New Year festival dates from about 2000 BC in Mesopotamia, where in Babylonia the New Year (Akitu) began with the new moon after the spring equinox (mid-March) and in Assyria with the new moon nearest autumn equinox (mid-September).”
The Encyclopædia Americana (1999):
“Among ancient peoples the beginning of the year was determined by one of various events, such as the spring or autumnal equinox or the winter or summer solstice. In Egypt, for example, beginning about 2773 BC, the year began with the heliacal rising of Sirius, which coincided with the start of the flood period of the Nile and came not long after the summer solstice.”
So, the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians (think modern Lebanon) and Persians (think Iranians today) began their new year with the autumn equinox (September 21), while the Greeks, until the 5th century BC, observed their new year with the winter solstice (December 21).

The World Book (2001) states –
“Many ancient peoples … performed rituals to do away with the past and purify themselves for the new year. For example, some people put out the fires they were using and starting new ones. …

In early times, the ancient Romans gave each other New Year’s gifts of branches from sacred trees. In later years, they gave gold-covered nuts or coins imprinted with pictures of Janus, their god of gates, doors, and new beginnings. JANUARY was named after Janus, who had two faces – one looking forward and the other looking backward.”
The Encyclopedia Britannica (1998):
“By the Roman republican calendar, the year began on March 1st; after 153 BC the official date was January 1st, and this was confirmed by the Julian calendar (46 BC).

In early medieval times most of Christian Europe regarded March 25th (Annunciation Day) as the beginning of the year, though for Anglo-Saxon England New Year’s Day was December 25th.”
Now, the Celts (which historically included the Gauls, Celtiberians, Gallaecians, Galatians, Britons, Gaels, and their offshoots) celebrated the new year on November 1, marking the end of summer and the harvest, and the beginning of the cold, dark winter ahead. Truly, a precursor to All Hallows' Eve – better known as Halloween – in which they would build “sacred” bonfires to scare off evil spirits and to honor their sun god.

So, since Roman Catholic leaders falsely assumed that our Lord Jesus Christ was born on December 25th, they also erroneously assumed His mother Mary conceived Him on March 25th – nine months before.

Days and Customs of All Faiths (1957):
“March 25th is called the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary…It celebrates the occasion when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the young Jewish maiden and announced to her that she was to be the mother of Jesus…Although the Church began very early to commemorate this event, the date itself cannot have been fixed before the date of Christmas was established, which was sometime late in the fourth century. The two dates are dependent on each other, because they must normally have been nine months apart…Then, reaching all the way back, people decided that this was not only the day on which Christ’s earthly life began -- it was the day everything began, the day of Creation itself. From here it was a very short step – an almost unavoidable one – to the idea that March 25th must be the beginning of the year, and from the twelfth century until the calendar reform in 1752, March 25th was New Year’s day”
Brethren and friends, as you should plainly see, the true history of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is smothered and deeply rooted in pagan traditions. It originated in the minds of men.

The very first month of God’s sacred calendar is called in His living word, Abib/Nisan. The definition of Abib from the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is “head (of grain), already ripe, but still soft – green ears of corn.” Later, the Jews would call this month Nisan – the first month of the Canaanite calendar. God's New Year for 2022 is April 2, 2022 on the Gregorian calendar.

God’s New Year for the world begins in the spring, when things are coming alive. Not in the dead of winter, when things are dormant. □

Additional Commentaries and Articles:

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When Does God's New Year Begin?Let me begin today by asking these questions – “How did the celebration of New Year’s ever begin!?” 
WHEN WAS CHRIST BORN?Unfortunately, the date of Jesus Christ’s birth has been a topic of much controversy for centuries.

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