Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Christianity and New Year's

By Marshall Swing | Jan 4, 2009

We all celebrate the New Year, but how many know the history of the celebration?

Traditionally, the New Year has been a Christian Feast.
Over the centuries and millennia, New Year's Day has been celebrated on several different days, and for various reasons. In America, our history comes from Europe, the Roman Empire, and the Christian movement after the death of Christ.

Prior to 153 BC, the New Year was celebrated on March 15. March 15, also known as the Ides of March and the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated.

Much later, in England, the New Year was celebrated on March 25th which is 9 months before the birth of Christ. This is called the "Feast of the Annunciation" and represents the virgin conception of Jesus where God took on a human body as both God and man. In England, this is called Lady Day, after the Virgin Mary.

March 25th continued to be the date of most New Year celebrations until 1752 when the Gregorian calendar was adopted. From that time, March 25th was called the Annunciation Style and January 1st was called the Circumcision Style. The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord is 8 days after the birth of Christ and strictly following the commandment of God to Abraham of circumcision which has been the Jewish custom for thousands of years. Luke 2:21 states: "After eight days had passed, the infant was circumcised and named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

Martin Luther wrote: "Glory to God in highest heaven, Who unto man His Son hath given; While angels sing with tender mirth, A glad new year to all the earth."

Benjamin Franklin wrote: "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." Franklin also wrote: "This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins."

These Christian men saw their New Year as one of hope through God and Christ.

History brings an interesting light on New Year's resolutions and what we should really value!

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