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A VICTORIAN
NEW YEAR













View the collection of
Victorian New Year
Postcards


Victorian Children Victorian Ladies Victorian Gentlemen
New Year Clocks Toast the New Year Through the Years
Victorian Angels Victorian Cherubs New Year Couples
Ring in
the New Year
Flowers For the New Year Victorian New Year Scenes
New Year Critters New Year Birds Victorian
Gnomes
Victorian Chimney Sweepers Time for Kids Father Time
Lucky New Year Swine New Year
Snowmen
General Cards










A BRIEF
NEW YEAR
HISTORY

           The new year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn't
           begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only
           for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became
           the beginning of the new year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar
           developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons
           than previous calendars had.

           The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god
           of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always
           depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the
           back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At
           midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at
           the old year and forward to the new. The Romans began a tradition of
           exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches
           from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted
           with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.

           In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to December
           25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday
           called the Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII
           revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the new year was
           returned to January 1.

           The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures
           have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than
           365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The
           Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the
           first full moon (over the FarEast) after the sun enters Aquarius,
           sometime between January 19 and Februsary 21. The Chinese celebrate
           the holiday by exchanging gifts, having parades, and exploding
           firecrackers. One of twelve animals, such as a tiger, a rooster, or a
           dog, is associated with each new year.

           The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is celebrated on the first two
           days of the Jewish calendar's first month, Tishri, which falls in
           September or October. The Jewish New Year is heralded by the rabbi
           blowing a shofar, or ram's horn, in the synagogue. The Islamic year
           starts anew every 354 days. Because there are no adjustments, like
           Leap Year, to make each calendar year correspond to the earth's cycle
           around the sun, the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram, is
           not in the same season every year.



HAPPY NEW YEAR!















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