The first religious New Year was celebrated by the Jewish people around 3760 BC and is known as Rosh HaShanah and occurs the early part of September.1 The first secular New Year celebration came around 2000 BC in the Middle East, in the land known as Mesopotamia, where Abraham came from. It was celebrated on the day of the Vernal Equinox, which is March 20th when the sun stands directly above the equator. Most of the world today celebrates New Year’s Day on January 1st, thanks to Roman emperor Julius Caesar who set it in 45 BC based on his new Julian Calendar. Why? Because it was on that day that the highest elected officials of Rome took office to start serving their one-year term.
So what does that mean to you and me? That we can start our New Year any day we choose. Perhaps you can select the day you were born or the day you were born-again and it turned your life around from going backward into eternal punishment to going forward to eternal life. But the most remarkable thing is this, whether a person who celebrates New Year’s Day is a Christian or unbeliever, the New Year number is always calculated from the year of Christ’s birth, and this New Year it will be 2018. So, that is reason enough to tell everyone, “Happy New Year!” – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1 See Leviticus 23:24-25