It’s a new year and many of us will have started it with a list of New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are not a new trend, in fact they have been around for some 4,000 years and it’s thought the ancient Babylonians were the first people to start the tradition. However, 4,000 years ago, the new year began in mid-March when crops were planted and the time was celebrated with a 12-day religious festival. The Babylonians resolutions included paying their debts and returning any items they had borrowed. If they kept to their word, the gods would bestow favour on them for the coming year.
Around 46BC, the calendar year was changed by emperor Julius Caesar and 1 January became the start of the new year. Named for Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches, the Romans believed Janus looked backwards into the previous year and ahead to the future. The Romans made promises of good conduct and offered sacrifices to the deity.
For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. In 1740, the Covenant Renewal Service was introduced, most commonly held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Also known as known as watchnight services, these are held on New Year’s Eve are often spent praying and making resolutions for the coming year.
Despite the tradition’s religious roots, today many of us make New Year’s resolutions focused on self-improvement. It’s said that 17 January is the date when most resolutions waiver but no doubt in January 2020 we will start the year with another list and the same determination to see them through.
Don’t let interference get in the way of your New Year’s resolutions. If you notice new interference to Freeview – there’s a small chance it may be due to 4G mobile signals. We’re here to help – 0808 13 13 800 (free from UK landlines and mobiles).