Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's Not A New Year in My Head

Every year New Year's Eve rolls around and I feel like I should be making resolutions for the new year. I should be turning new leaves and lining up goals. It's what you do. But every year my brain rejects such activities. It looks around and says "I don't see anything new about it. It's exactly like the past weeks and no different from the coming weeks." And so and resolutions I had been contemplating easily dissolve into mush simply because I can't keep them in my head.

Honestly, I cannot fathom why the ancient Romans decided to make January 1st the start of the year. Or why everyone else eventually went along with it. To me, Spring has always felt like the Beginning of Things. It only makes sense. How can a year begin when everything around you is dead? And indeed, it was only relatively recently that western civilization adopted the January 1 date. England celebrated it on March 25th until the 1700s. A date in March, near to the vernal equinox, makes a lot more sense to me.

This also appeals to my geeky, Tolkien-obsessed side because in Middle-earth it was established that the Elven year (loa) began on the day before the spring season (Tuile). "Yestarë" (or First Day in Quenya) falls on March 28th on the Gregorian calendar. (Yes, Tolkien even named all the Elven seasons in two languages and established several holidays for them. The man was nothing if not thorough.) So it may be the geekiest thing in the world, but I think this year I'm going to celebrate Yestarë instead of the modern New Year.

Oh, I'll still be writing 2012 on all my documents. But in my heard the new year won't really begin until March 28th. It's a better time for resolutions and big changes, I think. The time when the world is awakening, color is returning, all living things are being born and growing. Until then I'm just going to stick to the goals I've had for the past year: keep on write, write everyday, finish something, self publish it.

Nothing new to see here. But maybe in a few months...


  1. I like that way of thinking. It does make an awful lot of sense to begin the year when the rebirth of nature is just starting. I suppose those pesky Romans had their reasons (then again, we already have several new years: April for the financial, September/October for the academic, why not an official Geeky New Year on March 28th? I like it!

  2. You have a point there! Besides, the New Year sometimes feels like such a let down after the rush and excitement of Christmas.

  3. Time is a strange animal when you analyze it with any authenticity.

  4. Jamie, let's put it on our geek calendars then! ;)

    Alex, I agree. I think it also detracts from the Christmas season, which traditionally lasts 12 days.

    Michael, which is why it's so fun to play with in literature.

  5. Well, you know, it's not really new year until 25 March, if you go by the Gondor calendar. Ahem.

    I love the idea that you'll be publishing soon! Can't wait to read stuff!

  6. I think the new year beginning in Spring is brilliant! Honestly - it's SO MUCH BETTER! Why di they change it? Ugh. Oh- well. I finally managed to set some goals so I am looking forward to the process. Happy New Year!

  7. There is definitely something to be said for spring beginnings. I'm hoping to finish up a couple first drafts by late spring so that I'm free to spend the rest of the year editing various projects...we'll see how it goes in reality.

  8. I love the chance to renew more than just once. Spring sounds lovely. Great post - new follower :)

  9. Deniz, I'm an elf at heart so I go by the Reckoning of Rivendell. :)

    Leigh, I can't imagine why they did it either. Who wants to start things off in the dead of winter?

    Nicole, good luck!

    Tasha, thanks for following. :)

  10. Sarah Woodbury (a fellow writer) had a quick mention on her blog about the Romans and their changing of the start of the new year.


  11. You make a good point, but then - was January the same season of the year, back in Roman times? I know that until we got the leap days sorted out with the Gregorian calendar, calendar days weren't always at the same place with respect to the equinoxes and the solstices.


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