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First of the Year!

Did you know, the year did not always begin in January? It began in March, as does the astrological calendar with the first sign of the zodiac which is Aries (March 21 - April 20).

Today’s modern calendar comes with a lot of oddities, not least of which are the numerical names of the last four months (September, October, November, and December) the numbers don’t match their place in the calendar. October, for example, is not the eighth month of the year, but the 10th.

So what’s going on here? Is it all down to the Romans...

Ancient Rome's original calendar contained only ten months, began in March, and lasted only 304 days.  But, it was replaced with a new calendar in approximately 700 BCE. The new calendar was based on the cycles of the moon, 355 days long, and spread over 12 months. It added the month of January to the beginning of the year and the month of February to the end, although, February was later moved to its current position between January and March. 
On January 1, 45 BC, the calendar first proposed by then Roman consul, Julius Caesar in 46 BC took effect by special edict. Replacing the former lunisolar calendar, this was a solar calendar of 365 days with an additional leap day every four years.
Then in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII declared a small change to reduce the average length of the year from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days correcting the Julian calendar's drift against the true solar year. This is the Gregorian calendar which is accepted as an international standard and is in use in most of the world today although it is not the only calendar in use -  some countries still use the Julian calendar or modified versions.
That said, I should like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy next twelve months give or take a few seconds...

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