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Resolutions, revolutions and hope for the year ahead

Created on Fri, 27/12/2013 - 19:36 by Jennifer Piper 

We all have something that we do to mark the New Year. It might be dressing up and kissing a stranger at midnight, spending time with friends, going to bed early to start the new year afresh, or watching the fireworks on the television.

Getting excited about new year's resolutions

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Resolutions: the annual 'note to self'

Resolutions are the annual note to self

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However we celebrate, most times it includes making a resolution to change or improve our lives in the year to come. The New Year’s Resolution has become as ubiquitous as supermarket Christmas decorations in November.

When you consider that new year’s celebrations, and the groggy-headed resolutions that follow them, have been around for about four thousand years, it’s not surprising that we take it for granted that something should change each time we cross off that last box on the calendar.

The reason we resolve

By the rivers of Babylon, we make our resolutions

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Ancient Babylonians celebrated the change of seasons, with particular attention paid to spring and autumn equinox. The new year was the spring equinox, and was, allegedly, observed by paying debts and returning anything borrowed in the preceding year.

All roads lead to the new year

Janus sees everything

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By the time the Romans rolled in and took over most of Europe, North Africa and every piece of Mediterranean coastline they could find, New Year’s Eve had become a tribute to the god Janus. The date of the first day of the year changed a bit, but was settled with the Julian calendar as 1 January (note the similarity between the name of the god and the name of the month).

Looking backward, looking forward

With two two faces, you can see everything

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Janus, like many ancient gods, is reminiscent of a well-known comic book character. Only, instead of being Gotham City’s horribly-scarred former District Attorney, Janus used his two faced visage to evaluate the past year while planning for the year ahead. Romans promised the two-faced deity that they would be better, more observant citizens and correct their bad behaviour of the year before.

Happy New Year!

Times Square knows how to party

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Today, we carry on observing 1 January as a day of new beginnings, with promises to ourselves to get healthier, watch less television, spend more time with family and generally improve our lives. Three of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are to learn something new, save money and get a better job. We’re particularly fond of the resolution to learn something new, because while working towards a purpose is a great reason to learn, sometimes it’s nice just to learn for the sake of expanding your mind.

What resolution will you make this year?

Comments

My resolution for the new year is more worrying in the middle ambiente.Estar more time with family, eat more vegetables and fruits. Gym and finish some of my educational projects.
Happy New Year to all!

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