The Origins and Significance of January 1st as the New Year

TLDR January 1st became the start of the new year due to its association with resolutions, new budgets, and the tradition of making mistakes when writing checks. This date was established by the ancient Romans, later standardized by Pope Gregory XIII, and eventually adopted by England and its American colonies.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 January 1st became the start of the new year because it is a day where people start resolutions, companies begin new budgets, and everyone screws up writing checks.
01:44 The use of January 1st as the start of the year can be traced back to ancient Rome, where the early Romans used a ten-month calendar system and named their first month Martius, which we now call March.
03:18 The Roman king Numa added two more months to the calendar, Iannuarius and Febuarius, making January the 1st month and possibly due to the start of terms for consuls and its proximity to the Winter Solstice.
04:46 In the Middle Ages, the system of January 1st as the New Year fell apart and different days were celebrated all over Europe, but Pope Gregory XIII eventually fixed the calendar and standardized January 1st as the New Year.
06:19 England was very late to adopt January 1st as the New Year, celebrating it on March 25th instead, but they eventually adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, causing their American colonies to also start celebrating the New Year on January 1st.
07:54 The difference between a sidereal year and a tropical year is very small, with a sidereal year being only 20 minutes longer, and the perihelion, the point where the Earth is closest to the Sun, is close to January 1st.
09:21 January 1st marks an astronomical event, even though the date itself has no astronomical significance, and it was set by the Romans and later adopted by the Church.
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