Unwilling to let go of the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions, it being the 31st of December I pondered about the improvements I had to make in the forthcoming year 2018. As I was preparing a list of things that I had to let go and things that I should follow religiously, I wondered who started the tradition of New Year Resolutions. As we are residing in the digital age, my first call was the internet, of course, to find answers to the question that had sans warning surfaced in my mind. I was fascinated by the wealth of information I found in the attached clip that I was fortunate to have stumbled upon on www.history.com while surfing the web. Apparently, it was the Babylonians who started the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions and the celebration of New Year some 4000 years ago, which commenced in mid-March when the crops were planted. The celebrations of the festival called Atiku went on for twelve days during which it was customary to crown a new king and offer promises to the gods. These promises were predecessors to what we call today as New Year’s Resolutions.
The celebrations shifted from mid-March to the 1st of January when Emperor Julius Caesar came up with a modified version of the calendar called the Roman Calendar to denote the commencement of the new year circa in 46 BC and due to the significance given to the two-faced god named Janus. The symbolic significance being the two faces; one of which looked backwards in to the previous year and the other which looked ahead, into the future. The Romans made promises of good conduct which was followed by sacrifices made to the god and other rituals. Christians continued the tradition by reflecting on their past mistakes and setting new goals for the New year; the major difference being the promises were made unto themselves as opposed to the ancient practices of offering those to gods.
What I find interesting about the concept of new year resolutions is that we persevere in making them year after year even though we fail in fulfilling all our resolutions. After careful consideration, I arrived at the conclusion that people revived the tradition universally as they entertained the hope that one day they would succeed in rectifying all the mistakes of their past. It made perfect sense as no one would prefer to lead a life where there is no scope for improvement and only failures to fall back on.
Hence, with this hope I am currently drawing up a short list of resolutions that I might actually succeed in achieving and on this note I would like to conclude wishing you all a Happy and a Prosperous New Year.