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When does the New Year come?


New Year is the main calendrical holiday marking the beginning of the annual cycle. Its celebration is associated with the period of renewal, creation, the victory of the new over the old, and sometimes even life over death.


Beginning of the New Year celebration in the world's nations

The beginning of the new year cycle is determined by the beliefs and culture of the nation, as well as the calendar adopted by this culture. In many of them the New Year falls on the days of equinoxes or solstices. For example, the peoples of the subtropical zone have a holiday Navruz, which is celebrated on March 21 or 22 - around the vernal equinox. In ancient Athens the beginning of the New Year was timed to the summer solstice, and in the people of the northern and temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere it was the winter solstice, whence goes back to the European tradition of the most common date of celebration of the New Year - January 1.



The beginning of the countdown of a new cycle was also often associated with periodically recurring natural events and the peculiarities of agricultural and economic culture that depended on them.

For example, the Thai New Year, Songkran, is celebrated from April 13 to 15. There, according to the ancient Indian astrological calendar, this time marks the change of the year and the onset of the rainy season. Also close to about April 12 to 17, the New Year comes in Burma (Myanmar), and the holiday is called Thingyan. Both countries have a tradition of water sprinkling and have amazing water festivals based on it.



And vice versa: in Ethiopia, the New Year (Enkutatash) is celebrated on September 11, when the rainy season ends. And in Scotland, the beginning of the New Year is the night from October 31 to November 1 on the day of Samhain, which marks the ancient Celtic festival of the end of the harvest. When Christianity was adopted, Samhain became All Saints' Day and the night before it became Halloween. Although among Celtic peoples, in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, the night of October 31 to November 1 is still considered the beginning of the New Year.


There exist "floating dates" as well. This is normal and happens because these ancient holidays were based on the phases and changes of solar and lunar cycles, which do not coincide with the currently accepted calendar systems.

For example, 163 days after Pesach in Israel (not earlier than September 5 and not later than October 5) the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah is celebrated. It falls at the beginning of the month of Tishrei. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar-solar, the dates of celebrations are shifted relative to the civil calendar. The month of Tishrei falls in September-October according to the Gregorian calendar. In the seventh month, as Jews believe, God created the world, so the calendar is counted from it. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated over two days, but they are counted as one and are called "yoma arihata" - "the long day."



The famous Chinese New Year (春节, meaning "Spring Celebration") is also shifted and falls somewhere between January 21 and February 21. Chinese New Year is often informally referred to as "Lunar New Year" since it is a derivative of the lunar-solar Chinese calendar, and its exact date itself is determined based on the lunar phases. It is timed to coincide with the winter new moon at the completion of the full lunar cycle following the winter solstice (i.e. on the second new moon after December 21). The cycle of New Year's celebrations traditionally begins on the first day of the first month of the first month of the Chinese calendar and ends with the Lantern Festival, which occurs on the 15-th day of the celebrations.



In Saudi Arabia, however, there is no specific date for the new year. In Islamic countries, where the years are counted from Hijra (the time when the Prophet Muhammad led Muslims from Mecca to Medina), the year begins on the first day of the month of Muharram. The date of the New Year is shifted by 11 days every year. Therefore, there is no definite date of the New Year. But this does not bother anyone - in most Muslim countries, New Year is not celebrated at all.

But in India, New Year is celebrated more often than in any other country in the world. The traditional Indian year, Gudi-padva, is celebrated in March. Many states meet the New Year according to the traditional calendars of the peoples living there. One of the most colorful celebrations is the Bengali New Year, Holi. It is marked by Bengalis regardless of religious affiliation. In Bangladesh the holiday has the status of a national holiday and is celebrated on April 14, and in West Bengal and Assam it has the status of an official state holiday and is celebrated on April 15. The reason for this is that during Mughal rule, agricultural taxes were collected by Muslims based on the Hijra calendar. However, because the Islamic calendar was lunar, the time of tax collection did not coincide with the time of harvest. As a result, it was extremely difficult for peasants to pay taxes out of season. In order to facilitate the tax collection process, Emperor Akbar ordered a calendar reform, and the famous astronomer Fatehullah Shirazi created the Bengali calendar based on the Islamic lunar and Hindu solar calendar. The new agricultural year was introduced on March 10-11, 1584, when the tradition of celebrating the New Year began. Bengalis paid off all their debts on the last day of the old year, and on the first day of the new year, rich Bengalis treated their workers with sweet treats. Huge fairs and festivities were also organized on the day of the new year.



Annually, all Moroccans celebrate three of the main dates in the country: The New Year’s Eve, The New Year’s Day,” Higgrea”, and Amazigh Year. Let’s identify each one of them separately and talk about their aspects.

1- THE NEW YEAR’S EVENT:

New Year’s Event is mostly the first expected night for everyone during each year, not only through Morocco, but it is also rather the most outstanding event gladly celebrated everywhere all over the world. In a day like this, each Christian individual, child, parent, family, and close group of friends enthusiastically celebrate the memorial of the special birth of Jesus Christ.

Preparations are perfectly made to enjoy the festive event. However, the Christian Moroccans as their fellows of other Christians and whether they are Westerns or Eastern believe that a new era of grace and peace was launched the day Jesus Christ was born, so that it was indicated as The New Year where they dated the Solar Year and Calendar to be first used. It is regarded that the first of January is the first day in the Christian Calendar where all people welcome its’ arrival through different glamourous aspects.

HOW DO MOROCCANS CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR’S EVE?

Cities of Morocco became much more elegant in The New Year’s Eve and Christmas where the major Casablanca, Marrakesh, Agadir, Rabat, Tanja and the coastal line of the Atlantic Ocean turns charming. What is that unbelievable unique spell of beauty?

Most of the Moroccan young people like to spend the New Year’s Eve in interesting modes, so that they prefer to attend one of the huge festivals in Rabat, Meknes, Marrakesh, or Casablanca where music concerts are held gathering the most national and international music and song figures. Various people from different places around the world visit Morocco in New Year’s Eve to meet their celebrities in one of the festivals’ organized systems. They are breathtaking moments filled with joy, enchantment, and kindness where fireworks, lightening ropes and carnations are spread everywhere, in the streets, houses, public places, gardens and hotels as that they welcome the new beginning of chances. Despite the misfortunes of life, people in Morocco like to enjoy the arrival of the New Year praying to God in this special to fulfill every human’s wish of good health and fortune.

Most Moroccans from popular alleys and those of outstanding conditions make delicious plates of dessert made with pure love for everyone. They try to spend this important eve in a pleasing atmosphere of kindness.

During December, most of the trade markets in Morocco make special offers of sold where all clothes, shoes, goods, and different electronical equipment are presented with convenient prices. They think, however, that an attractive period like this worth people’s happiness and satisfaction.

Many prior plans are made before the special New Year’s Eve that families and friends decide to enjoy it in all what they can offer, and in a way to peacefully say farewell to the ending past year welcoming the second new year lovingly.

2- THE DAY OF THE NEW YEAR (HIGGREA):

The Higgrea New Year’s Day is considered one of the most important religious celebrations in the Islamic world. It is a valuable day that holds significant meanings and thus all Muslims from the East of the Earth to its’ West celebrate this day.

What is the Significance of the Higgrea New Year’s Day?

According to the Eastern Higgrea Calendar, all Muslim countries, including Morocco takes the first day in (Muharram) month as the beginning of the New Year. It dates to the migration of Muhammed, the prophet from Mecca to al Madina- Al Munawara as a result to Kuraish’s bad actions in Mecca. So that, people of all Madina celebrated the prophet’s visit to them as they were honored by him. However, Omar Ibn al- Khattab, the successor leader of Islam decided the first of Muharram as the first day in the New Year to determine a specific date for the State’s official affairs.

Nowadays, most of the Islamic countries as Morocco and Saudi Arabia use the Higgrea lunar.Furthermore, the names of the Higgrea months differ from the Solar ones, such as Muharram is relevant to January in the Gregorian Calendar.

The first of Muharram is a mere celebration of such religious and familial warm atmosphere where all Muslims rejoices the incident. The modes are intimate where Muslims in Morocco greet each other wishing all the best for their families and relatives. The traditions at this period of the year are marvelous that Muslims do dawn’s prayers in the mosque where secular atmosphere is dominated inside the house of God (Allah). After that, speeches about the prophet Muhammed are told to the people indicating his most influential sayings and actions. However, it is rather a religious event than a festive entertaining celebration. It is also a tradition that brings so much love among people and it is thus the most favored celebration to all Muslim people wherever they live.

3- AMAZIGH NEW YEAR:

Never wonder that Morocco celebrates three New Years during the same year and the last one of them is the Amazigh New Year. It is celebrated by all Amazigh people in the Arabian countries of Morocco emphasizing their deeply- historic identity. It was decided to get the people’s attention to more than 3000 years of history, glory, and influence. The New Year of Amazight was decided as a remembrance to the memorable achievements done by the Amazigh’s grandfathers of Phoenicians. A day like this should not be forgotten because of its’ importance to humanity as whole.

Moroccan people, especially the Amazigh celebrate and enjoy this day. However, atmospheres are relaxing and breathtaking that every event takes place in the middle of nature. They do that as an indication of respect to nature, the human’s first mother. They cook special meals for the day as the seven- flavored couscous, Takla or Aseeda, which is made of cereals. They tend to cook healthy plates as they prevent from eating meat trying to go back to nature. The family members gather with children and friends to eat the healthy meal. In addition, Moroccan families buy new equipment for their houses in the first day of Amazigh Year as a try to dismiss every old aspect of their lives. It is kind of a welcoming practice that is done by all from the Atlantic to the East.

Another tradition is that Amazigh go in the heart of nature searching for new natural remedies of herbs. They believe that they are healthy enough to heal every physical trouble.



About January 1, Julian and Gregorian calendars

January 1 is New Year's Day according to the Gregorian, Julian, and New Julian calendars. It came about because of Julius Caesar's calendar reform. It was required a calendar that would be quite accurately synchronized with the Sun. And such a calendar was developed by Sosigenes of Alexandria, an astronomer and mathematician, who proposed a 365-day calendar with a leap year every four years. That one was introduced and was called the "Julian calendar" with the adoption of the beginning of the year on January 1, 45 B.C. on the day the consuls (2 men who made up the executive branch of the empire) took their positions. It was under Caesar, under the influence of astrology, that the New Year's Day holiday acquired the independent significance of a time marker for the beginning of the year, and thus marked the beginning of the civil year.



The Julian calendar remained almost unchanged until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII adjusted it to improve accuracy. The reason for the adoption of the new calendar was the gradual shift of the day of the vernal equinox, by which the date of Easter was determined, and the discrepancy between the Easter full moons and the astronomical full moons. His reform consisted in that 10 extra days were simply crossed out, and the system of calculating time was brought into conformity with the cyclic circulation of the Earth around the Sun. The rule of leap years was changed, and the average calendar year began to match the solar year better.



The difference between the dates of the Julian and Gregorian calendars increases by three days for every 400 years, and today it is 13 days. However, the Julian and Gregorian calendars continue to exist together. The Julian calendar is used by the Georgian, Jerusalem, Serbian and Russian churches, while Catholics and Protestants follow the Gregorian calendar. So, the New Year according to the old style (Julian calendar) comes on the night from January 13 to 14. And it is celebrated in Russia, in all post-Soviet republics, in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro. In Macedonia, it is customary to celebrate the Old New Year in the street - neighbors bring out and set tables and celebrate the New Year together according to the old style. In Pembrokeshire, in the Gwaun Valley, there is a small village, whose residents continue to celebrate the New Year according to the old style, following the traditions that date back to 1752. Children on this holiday sing old songs in the Welsh language and go around the neighbors, begging for sweets and gifts. In Switzerland it is "Old St. Sylvester's Day", in Serbia - Serbian New Year, in Japan - "Rissyun" - "the holiday of spring's beginning.


New Year in Russia

According to some chronicle sources, from ancient times in Russia, the celebration was associated with the rebirth of nature, and the festivities coincided with the day of the vernal equinox - March 22. According to another version, the holiday was celebrated on Shrovetide, when the farewell of winter and the meeting of spring marked the beginning of a new cycle of life. There is also data according to which Russian pagans honored grandfather Treskun as a deity, and the New Year was celebrated on the day of the winter solstice in December - the shortest and coldest day of the year.



Before the Christianization of Russia, March 1 was considered the official date of the New Year. But with the adoption of Christianity in 988 and the adoption of the Julian calendar from Byzantine culture, which provides for the division of the year by months, a new chronology appeared in Russia. And on the Byzantium calendar celebration of New Year has been transferred on September 1. There were disagreements about when to celebrate the holiday - in the spring or in the fall, which lasted until the XV century, until in 1492 Ivan III published a decree in which the official date of the New Year for the church and for the laity became September 1. In Moscow, lavish celebrations were held, cannon fire accompanied the festivities at midnight, and churches rang their bells.



The usual nowadays New Year's Eve on the night from December 31 to January 1 was established by the Russian Emperor Peter the Great. By his decree of December 20, 1699, Russia switched to a new chronology, and the celebration of the beginning of the year from September 1 was officially moved to January 1. The document outlined and the first traditions of the celebration, like the customs of European countries. At the same time, the Julian calendar, adopted from Byzantium with Christianization, was remaining in force in Russia.



On February 14, 1918, after the revolution, the whole of Russia switched to the new system - the Gregorian calendar. Later, in 1923, the new authorities tried to transfer to the new calendar and the church, but His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon managed to keep the traditions. And therefore in Russia, New Year's Day can be celebrated twice: January 1 and January 13.


The Armelin Universal Calendar and the United New Year

Today there are many systems of chronology, but they are not always successfully matched with each other. Also in the modern calendar, the days of the week and dates in different years do not coincide, and months and quarters have different durations. A complete solution to this problem is still being sought, and one of the famous options was the Armelin calendar. This is a proposed world calendar developed by Gaston Armelin in 1888 and awarded the first prize of the French Astronomical Society.


Armelin's calendar is modeled after the calendar of the Qumran congregation that existed two thousand years ago in Palestine. The Qumran year included 364 days or exactly 52 weeks and differed from the true year by more than a day. The year in the world calendar is divided into 4 quarters of 91 days. In the first month of each quarter, that is in January, April, July, and October - on 31 days, in other months - on 30 days. Each date corresponds to a certain day of the week. According to European tradition, the week begins on Sunday, and from the same day begins each year and quarter. And at the end of each year after Saturday, December 30, there is an additional day, which would not belong to any quarter and could be a world holiday - the numberless and nameless New Year's Day, and only after it - Sunday, January 1. In leap years, Leap Day ("Day of Peace and Friendship of Nations") follows Saturday, June 30, and is followed by Sunday, July 1. February, May, August, and November start on Wednesday, while March, June, September and December start on Friday.

This system has some limitations, but the main advantage of the Armelin calendar is its constancy, the linking of the days of the week to certain days of the month, which allows to have one table-calendar for all years, not 14, as in the modern system of chronology.

In the middle of XX century the project of the world calendar was supported at the international stage by some countries of the world, including the Soviet Union, India and France, and in 1954 it was approved by the 18-th session of the UN Economic and Social Council. The benefits of a world calendar seemed to be obvious, and humanity was one step away from its introduction. But in 1956 the project was abandoned, as there were many objections to it from various interstate, religious and public organizations. And although for the time being the discussions about its introduction have been lost from the agenda, things can still change.


Happy New Year! May it bring peace, friendship, and all good times!



Sources:

11. https://kartaslov.ru /карта-знаний/Календарь+Армелина

 

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