Happy New Year - Welcome 2023|
As we celebrate the dawn of 2023, our attention is drawn towards the idea of New Year Resolutions and the practice of change and self-improvement. At this time of year we are bombarded with suggestions of making better habits, it got me wondering . . . who started the tradition of New Year's Resolutions?
It turns out that New Year's resolutions have a long history dating back to ancient civilizations. The ancient Babylonians are credited with being the first to make New Year's resolutions, as they made promises to their gods at the start of each year to pay their debts and return borrowed objects.
Around 2000 B.C., the Babylonians celebrated the New Year during a 12-day festival called *Akitu (starting with the vernal equinox). This was the start of the farming season to plant crops, crown their king, and make promises to pay their debts.
*Akitu (also spelled Akitu, Akitum, or Akituu) is a Babylonian festival that was celebrated annually at the city of Babylon. The festival, which lasted for 12 days, was a time of renewal and celebration and marked the beginning of the new year in the ancient Mesopotamian calendar. It was also a time when the Babylonians made vows and offered sacrifices to their gods, particularly Marduk, the patron deity of Babylon. The Akitu festival was an important event in ancient Babylonian culture and played a central role in the social, religious, and political life of the community. It is still celebrated by some modern-day Babylonians and is an important part of the cultural heritage of Iraq.
The ancient Romans also made New Year's resolutions, as they believed that the start of a new year was a time for self-improvement and renewal. The practice of making New Year's resolutions has continued throughout the centuries and is now a common tradition in many cultures around the world.