Monday, December 31, 2018

"The Origin of New Year"

Origin of New Year dates back to the era of emperors. They thought of celebrating a special day, which should dot a day for beginning and end of the year. 

First New Year celebrations were noticed in Mesopotamia around 2000 years. The Egyptians, Persians and Phoenicians celebrated it at the time of Equinox in mid-March while Greeks celebrated it on winter solstice.

January 1- an Official Date of New Year Celebrations

The Roman emperor Julius Caesar officially declared January 1 to be a New Year in 46 B.C. Romans worshiped God Janus who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward.

The month of January was named after this Roman God and it gave an idea to the emperor to establish January as a gate to the New Year. It is said Caesar celebrated January 1 - New Year by ordering the revolutionary Jewish forces to route back.

People began New Year celebrations on January 1 after many years. They ritualized the beginning of the year by acting and re-enacting the world of the past before peace proliferated. People learned January as first month of the year and with this the tradition of following Julian calendar.
Later, the King of England ensured that Jesus' birth December 25 should be commemorated as New Year.

Gregorian Calendar

About 500 years later, Pope Gregory XIII abolished the old Julian calendar and introduced Gregorian calendar, which comprised of a leap year after every four years to maintain balance between seasons and calendar.

Finally, in 1582, Gregorian calendar was set to celebrate New Year on the first day of January.


In Bhutan as per region people do have different day and ways of celebrating New Year. People of Paro and Haa celebrate Lomba as New Year that starts from 29th of 10th lunar month. People of Wangdue, Thimphu, Punakha and Trongsa celebrate Nynlo (Winter Solstice) as New Year. The Eastern Bhutanese celebrate 1st day of 12 month (Traditional Day of Offering) as their New Year.

However, in general Bhutan celebrates New Year on the 1 day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar.

While in all urban towns, Bhutanese take active part in the celebration of New Year of the Gregorian calendar, in the villages it is a total silence as they have their historically passed down day. I think they are correct and we should follow them and pass down the tradition.

Happy New Year 2019.    

Brief Sang offering prayer

Smoke in Bhutanese language means ‘Sang'.    It is customary especially in rural villages that the first thing they do in the morning is...