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The History of #NewYearsDay ~ #Happy2018! #2018IsHere

It's SO cold here on Cape Cod this year!
Happy New Year!  Although often bitterly cold here in the Northeast (record lows this year!), I like January--it's my birthday month and my son's.  It can be a chance to relax and renew after the frenetic pace of the holidays. Plus, there's the whole idea of a fresh start and making resolutions.  

Many of my most popular blog posts have discussed some of the history or mythology behind holiday traditions, for example, St. NickFinding Easter's date, and the Origin of Halloween. For the first week in January, I'm delving into some facts about New Year's Day and the month of January itself.  (Also, my January birthday happens to be on the 13th - see this post for reasons people fear that number).

New Year's Day is the first day of January according to both the Julian calendar (introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC) and the Gregorian calendar (named for Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in 1582). The difference in these two calendars is a .002% change in the length of the year.

The Roman God Janus, looking both
forward and backwards
The Julian calendar was based on the Roman Calendar, and the name of the month of January is generally attributed to the Roman god Janus, the god of beginnings and endings, who is depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions: into the past as well as the future.

Since the Gregorian calendar is now used, at least in practice, by most countries, New Year's Day is considered the world's most celebrated public holiday.

The ancient belief that the beginning of an event impacted the whole led people to offer good health and well wishes on this first day of a new year, as the long, dark days surrounding the Winter Solstice were being left behind.  A prosperous January first with plenty of food and drink would hopefully lead to the same for the entire month and year.

Of course, local traditions abound to mark this day, and a big one in the United States is the making of resolutions.  For many people, this involves a commitment to a healthier lifestyle--as a fitness instructor, I see my classes absolutely explode each January!  My own personal resolutions, since I'm also a writer, usually involve devoting more time each day to my craft.  This year, I'm only two chapters away from finishing a new romantic suspense, so my goal is to finish this month and read it over to get it ready for submission, then start on my next story idea.

Get lost in a steamy, suspenseful,
page-turning read!
If your resolutions include more reading (one of the best stress-reducers, by the way!) - please consider checking out my books.  Each one has a mix of steamy romance and spooky suspense--something for everyone.  My most popular novel, Gull Harbor, a #1 Kindle Bestseller, goes on sale for 99 cents for a limited time beginning Friday, January 5th,  so mark your calendar to take advantage of this amazing deal!  In the meantime, try Haunted Souls, my latest release and another page-turning mix of steamy romance and haunting mystery.  My debut novel, Silver Lake, is another #1 Kindle Bestseller...a reunion at a lake house brings both a second chance at first love and the clues to finding out what happened to the friend who vanished, years ago.  If you're a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read this one for FREE!  And my only Young Adult novel, Divine Fall, filled with forbidden first love and supernatural secrets, is currently priced at 99 cents...hours of entertainment for less than a buck!

What happened to Brandy?  SILVER LAKE

Best wishes, everyone, for a happy, healthy, and peaceful 2018. Happy New Year!

Music Monday: Ding Dong, Ding Dong