New Year, New Me…

… Or Maybe at Least for a few Weeks


Alysson Pahl, Staff Writer

The New Years resolution is a promise of good for the year to come since ancient times. It has of late, though, become something that people often avoid or forget about.  Compare this to the past, where people had stuck to their resolutions in fears that their gods would strike them down if they didn’t keep them. So, where did this start, and why do the people of late feel less reason to care if they drop their resolutions?

The Beginning of the Resolution

The tradition started back around 4,000 years ago, in the Ancient Babylonian times, before there were such things as calendars. Because of this lack of a way to tell the new year, they celebrated their ‘New Year’ in what would currently be known as late March, during the first new moon after the Spring Equinox. Their 11 day long festivities were known as the Akitu festival, dedicated to the rebirth of their sun god, Marduk, during which, they made promises so as to get on the right side of all of their deities.

This tradition of celebrating the New Year was continued with the Romans. January was named after one of their earlier gods, Janus, the god of beginnings, transitions, time, duality, passages, and endings, who had two heads. These heads, one looking backward and one looking forward, allowed for Janus to look forward to the future and backward to the past. On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward on the past year and looking forward into what the new year shall bring, making the new year a symbolic time for the Romans to make New Year’s resolutions and forgive past enemies for the troubles they had caused. They had believed that if they did this, Janus would forgive them of their wrongdoings in the past year.

Resolutions Now

Nowadays, not many people are worried about being smited by the gods if they don’t get on their good sides. Instead, they make resolutions if they feel that they can better themselves that year. And barely anyone ever keeps their resolutions. Only 9.2% of people on earth actually keep their resolutions. Most people make empty promises to lose some weight, eat healthier, get organized, etc., and they don’t keep it because they lose passion, try for something unrealistic, or look at things from the wrong perspective.

Whether you made a resolution or not, you should always try to be the best you can be. Find ways to keep your resolutions. And have a Happy New Year!