新年立志的由来

The History of New Year's Resolutions

传统的新年立志是在公元前153年的时候就开始了,那时罗马传说中的两面神柬奈斯(Janus)的头像被放在日历上了。

因为两面神柬奈斯有两个脸,所以他可以看到过去的事,也可以看到将来的事。由此以来,两面神柬奈斯就成为了古代立志的一个象征,古罗马人为此立志饶恕自己的仇人,然后交换礼物也在每年初开始进行。

新年其实并不总是在我们现在的一月一日那一天开始的。我们现在所沿用的365日作为一年的太阳年历(又称“阳历”)的年初才是从一月一日开始的,而这个太阳年历是在公元前46才开始使用的。那时,罗马帝国的皇帝朱利尤斯·凯撒建立了一个比以前的日历能更精确地表达一年四季的日历,这也就是我们现在使用的太阳年历。

古罗马的人们把一年的第一个月命名为柬奈斯,又称他为“开始的神”、“护门神”和“使出神”。人们一直把他描绘成两个脸,一个向前,一个向后,所以又被称为“两面神”。他一直可以向前看,也同时向后看。那时,人们想象在除夕的半夜,柬奈斯不仅往后看到一整年的情况,也向前看到了明年的一切新事项。人们从此开始了一个传统,就是在除夕相互交换圣树的树枝以表示对对方新的一年的祝福。后来人们交换的礼物渐渐变成了硬壳果和刻有柬奈斯头像的硬币。

在中古时代,基督徒把元旦移到了我们现在的十二月二十五日,也就是圣诞节的那一天;后来又把元旦改到我们现在的三月二十五日,因为那一天是“天使报喜节”。制定十六世纪,教皇格雷格里十三,才回复了罗马帝国的皇帝朱利尤斯·凯撒建立日历,这样,元旦才回到了我们现在的一月一日。

朱利尤斯·凯撒和教皇格雷格里十三所规定和使用的日历是太阳历,也就是“阳历”。有的地方是使用月亮历,也就是所谓的“阴历”。阴历的一年不是365日,因为阴历的每一个月是根据月亮的运行来定的。按中国人的习惯,中国是使用阴历的一个国家,在远东有不少国家使用中国的阴历。中国阴历的新年是在当太阳运行到宝瓶星座的时候,而月亮又是“新月”,又称“朔日”的时候,才是一年的开始。所以中国阴历的新年一定是在阳历的一月十九日与二月二十一日之间。

虽然不同的文化可能会有不同的元旦日,但是新年的一开始总是大家欢庆、相互祝贺的时候。

 

The tradition of the New Year's Resolutions goes all the way back to 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of early Rome was placed at the head of the calendar.

With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

The New Year has not always begun on January 1, and it doesn't begin on that date everywhere today. It begins on that date only for cultures that use a 365-day solar calendar. January 1 became the beginning of the New Year in 46 B.C., when Julius Caesar developed a calendar that would more accurately reflect the seasons than previous calendars had.

The Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors and entrances. He was always depicted with two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Thus he could look backward and forward at the same time. At midnight on December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. The Romans began a tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Eve by giving one another branches from sacred trees for good fortune. Later, nuts or coins imprinted with the god Janus became more common New Year's gifts.

In the Middle Ages, Christians changed New Year's Day to December 25, the birth of Jesus. Then they changed it to March 25, a holiday called the Annunciation. In the sixteenth century, Pope Gregory XIII revised the Julian calendar, and the celebration of the New Year was returned to January 1.

The Julian and Gregorian calendars are solar calendars. Some cultures have lunar calendars, however. A year in a lunar calendar is less than 365 days because the months are based on the phases of the moon. The Chinese use a lunar calendar. Their new year begins at the time of the first full moon (over the Far East) after the sun enters Aquarius- sometime between January 19 and February 21.

Although the date for New Year's Day is not the same in every culture, it is always a time for celebration and for customs to ensure good luck in the coming year.