Friday, March 21, 2008


Oh, I just love Spring. I can open my windows and bring the outdoors in. This is a time when everything begins anew. Even my attitude is new.

Before our current calendar was in effect (1752), Spring was celebrated (Mar 25) as the beginning of a New Year. It makes perfect sense to me but then I'm sometimes too logical...but think about it. In Spring the plants start growing, trees start turning green, and the animals begin having fur babies (LOL), just to name a few events. All these new happenings, so doesn't it make sense...NEW YEAR.

What happened? Well, the human element. Pre-Julian Rome calculations were 355 days and 6 hours broken into 12 months. Every two or three years, between February and March, the calendar would be adjusted 22 or 23 days. This was calculated to follow the seasons and the lunar phases. Managed correctly this all aligned with the solar year or Tropical year. Since this practice was not cared for when Caesar ruled, he eventually declared a reform and added 67 days to the calender. Funny thing but the last years before the reform were known as the "years of confusion" and 45 B.C. was known as the "last year of confusion".

Finally in 46 B.C. the new Julian calendar was in effect. It was more simplified and was to be as close as possible to the Tropical year without human intervention. Well, somebody got the algorithms wrong for leap year and it was happening every 3 years instead of 4 years. And here we go again...the calendar gets messed up but nothing was done for about 36 years.

Can you imagine how this kept making people confused? I'm crazy just telling it. LOL

Well, Augustus realigns everything in about 8 B.C. After that there were several proposals to recalculate things but it appears all were just theory, especially about the leap years. Now not everyone followed the Roman calendar and not everyone had the same New Year. Rome was January 1. I believe this was mainly due to when two consuls took office around 153 B.C. and Caesar never changed it. In other parts of the world the Alexandrian calendar began the New Year August 29 or 30 depending on the leap year. Those I call the Wise Ones were still using Mar 25 or Spring. In still other areas it was Sep 1 which is still used as the liturgical year for the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Now we speed ahead to 1582 when another miscalculation on leap days was no longer tolerated and Pope Gregory XIII promulgated the Gregorian calendar. Most Catholic countries adopted it and gradually the Protestants followed. Then Eastern Europe and some others. It wasn't until 1752 that Britain and US adopted the practice followed by more countries such as Russia. However, there are still some who still use the Julian calendar and some who celebrate New Year on a totally different day for various reasons.

So what is all this leading to. Just my opinion which is I think Spring is the New Year when all becomes new. It's the cycle of life and death. No matter how many calculations are contrived and how many calendars are imposed a new cycle of life begins and I'd like to think it is the New Year for Mother Earth.

Well, having gotten that out of my system I'm embarking on putting together bits and pieces of my short polymer clay journey so far. Eventually I'll catch up with myself and be up to date but in the mean time, I'll have some record of my travels so far. Oh, and I'll be putting up some pics too.

No comments: