As New Year’s Day draws to an end I thought that I would just share some history on the origins of New Year’s Day from when it was first established in 46 B.C.E up to William the Conqueror.
So, we begin in the year 46 B.C.E Julius Caesar actually first established January 1st as New Year’s Day. During Roman times there was a Roman God called Janus who was the God of doors and gates. He had two faces, one that looked forwards and one that looked backwards. Julius Caesar believed that the month that was actually named after this God (January) should in fact be the appropriate ‘door’ to the new year. In later years the Roman Pagans celebrated the New Year by engaging in drunken orgies. (In the picture below is the Roman God Janus).
However, when Christianity started to spread across Europe a lot of Pagan holidays had been or were being abandoned. The beginning of the year had been moved to the 25th March. However, when William the Conqueror became the King of England on the 25th December, 1066 he actually returned New Years Day back to the 1st January. (In the picture below is the coronation of William the Conqueror).