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    The History of New Year's Resolutions

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    Learn about the history of New Year's resolutions.

    New Year's Resolutions - one of those ideas that seems to have existed forever. But it did have a beginning - a long time ago.

    The New Year’s holiday was first celebrated approximately 4,000 years ago in Babylon. However the Babylonians did not have an official written calendar, so they observed the holiday in March, during the early beginnings of Spring.

    During this time, the Babylonians would make promises to their Gods, usually entailing paying their debts. Shedding a few pounds didn't seem to be on top of their minds.

    Then in Roman times, as different emperors took the throne, the calendar began to change.

    In 153 B.C., the Roman Senate ruled that the New Year would officially begin on January 1st. The Romans would make vows to their god Janus, after whom the month of January was named. They would commonly ask for forgiveness and exchange gifts.

    In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar altered the months yet again and he made the year last for 445 days. It was during the reign of Caesar that resolutions became more recognized with people making promises such as showing kindness to others. Still no sign of weight watchers.

    In medieval times, knights reaffirmed their commitment to chivalry as a yearly tradition.

    To this day, the tradition of New Year’s resolutions and getting rid of past bad luck continues.

    Various countries have differing approaches. At the stroke of midnight in Wales, a back door is opened and then shut to release the luck of the past year.

    Spain residents eat 12 grapes at midnight to bring good luck in the coming months.

    What's your New Year's resolution?