Some historical New Year facts
Old New Year
The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring). The celebrations continued for eleven days.
New Year's Resolution
The tradition of making a New Year's resolution dates back to the early Babylonians as well. The early Babylonian man's most popular resolution was to return farm equipment borrowed from neighbours.
Infant New Year
The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.
Roman New Year
The Romans continued to celebrate the New Year in late March until the Roman Senate declared January 1st to be the beginning of the new year in 153 BC. This didn't take until 46 BC when Julius Caesar brought in his smart Julian Calendar, again setting January 1 as the new year. In order to sync the calendar with the sun, the previous year lasted 445 days.