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My favorite New Year to observe:

Displaying poll results.
Conventional Gregorian (Jan. 1)
  9953 votes / 70%
Chinese, Jewish, or other lunar-based date
  1227 votes / 8%
Hindu or other solar-based date
  487 votes / 3%
Ethiopian
  206 votes / 1%
Neptunian
  1346 votes / 9%
Some other variety, explained in comments
  867 votes / 6%
14086 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
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My favorite New Year to observe:

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  • Birthday... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sique (173459) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:20AM (#38502386) Homepage

    The real new year for me... as in "I completed another full year of my life, and a new year starts today".

  • The tax year (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dark$ide (732508) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @11:15AM (#38502904) Journal
    Ends on April 5th, starts on April 6th and always reminds me exactly how much the UK Gov't is going to screw me.
  • by mpp (18866) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @01:44PM (#38504572)

    What better symbolism of a new year, a new beginning, than the longest night of the year, followed by new days that become slightly longer than the day before? The pagans really had it right.

  • by F69631 (2421974) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @02:44PM (#38505308)

    Here in northern Europe, we still celebrate Yule every 24th of December. When Christianity came here, the priests didn't even bother to rename the celebration: The celebration known as "Christmas" in English is still known as Yule [wikipedia.org] in our languages... You could say that "Okay, you celebrate new year twice" but I'd rather just consider it as a different thing than the new year.

  • Re:Old New Year (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpinyNorman (33776) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @04:05AM (#38512688)

    Not quite... Saturnalia was a separate holiday celebrating Saturn that grew to be a week long celebration ("the best holiday") starting on December 17th. Saturnalia did have a tradition of present giving that may have been carried over to "Christmas", as possibly was the extended and raucus nature of celebration.

    What Christmas actually co-opted, or attempted to, was the December 25th holiday of Natalis Invictus - the celebration of the (re)birth of the Sun god Sol Invictus, founded by emperor Aurelian c.270AD. Although dedicated to Sol Invictus, Natalis Invictus was essentially a winter solstice celebration since Dec 25th was at the time the shortest day after which the Sun was reborn (days begin to get longer again).

    When the Roman Catholic church was later unable to convince people to stop celebrating Natalis Invictus (and more generally the cult of Sol Invictus) they crudely tried to co-opt the date by restyling it as the birth of Christ rather than the birth of the Sun.

    The other holiday that got combined into "Christmas" was the northern European winter solstice celebration of "Yule" from whence we get Yule logs and I believe most of the tree/holly/mistletoe Christmas greenery.

    It's hard to say that the Christian/Catholic co-option of Natalis Invictus/Solstice/Yule was very successful as the major pagan elements of the holiday - date, tree, greenery, roaring fire, presents and feasting are all still intact, and for most people the holiday serves as a seasonal/solstice end of year celebration as much as a Christian one. Even the Angel some folk like to stick on the "Christmas tree" has it's pagan origin as the winged victory goddess Nike (also of sports shoe fame!).

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

 



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