I, currently living in third world country, didn’t know that New Year’s Eve is not the 1st January. Until last night when I suddenly got impulse to know what “eve” means. And that’s surprising me.
My first result come from quora. Why is December 31 called “New Year’s Eve” instead of “Old Year’s Eve”?. At this point, I still didn’t know what’s going on. I searched for New Year, not the Dec 31. Second result from Wikipedia finally opened my eyes. New Year’s Eve is not the Jan 1, but Dec 31. Then I came back to quora, Dean Bruce said: “Because we are celebrating the year to come and eve means the time period preceding the event. So we are celebrating the eve of the new year.” Up to this point, I finally knew that what I thought for so long are wrong. (hey, it has good rhyme). From wiki I got: People celebrating the New Year’s Eve, the eve of the year, and the celebrations generally go on past midnight into New Year’s Day, 1 January. Later, I found that Eve has meaning: the day or period of time immediately before an event or occasion. That’s where evening came from. And hey, my new year got one knowledge, New Year Eve is not what I thought before, and evening has the word Eve.
January 1 represents the fresh start of a new year after a period of revoluting the Sun. Why should we do that in January 1? What’s so special about it? Apparently, Rome started celebrated this new “New Year” at 153 BCE [^Michels]. In 567 CE, the Council of Tours (City in West France) formally abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. Guess it, there’s nothing special about it. The Sun neither exactly above equator, an equinox, nor in the most northerly or southerly excursion with respect to equator, a soltice. There isn’t any important astronomical occurence about January 1 either. In my country, January 1 is a holiday. That’s the only special about January 1 in my opinion.
Happy New Year 2018 CE!
[Michels] : Michels, A.K. The Calendar of the Roman Republic (Princeton, 1967), p. 97-8.Written on January 1st , 2018 by Rudi Adha Prihandoko