‘Beginnings And Endings’


The Roman God Janus

In the current cold weather I wonder about the spiritual appropriateness of starting a new year in the depths of winter rather than springtime. The first month of the year January has it’s origins in the Roman calendar and is named after two-headed Janus the god of beginnings and endings. Even in Roman times January was not always the first month of  the year. The legendary King Numa Pompilius, is attributed with adding the months of January and February in order to create a standard lunar year. (Apparently in the previously used Roman calendar the first month of the year was March until it was changed in about 450 BC).  In more recent times the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin on the 25th March was New Year’s Day until 1752. Personally I favour the Spring Equinox and the festival of Naw-Rúz as marking the true turning point of the year…


One thought on “‘Beginnings And Endings’

  1. Hi Karl! Perhaps both days can be said to be “true”: 1 January as the turn of the year from the human perspective, and 25 March from the natural. 😉 Nevertheless, I wasn’t aware of January’s etymological origins. Thanks!

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