Many cultures celebrate the beginning of a new year on days other than January 1. For instance, the Jewish new year began this year on September 18 and the celebration ended on September 20. It varies a few days every year because the Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles rather than solar cycles. (Easter and Pentecost are the only Christian holidays that are based on a lunar cycle.) It’s called Rosh Hashanah (the Head of the Year). In the Old Testament, it was described as a day of shouting or blasting, probably because it involved the blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn. Rosh Hashanah is one of the high holy days of Judaism. It is both a time of rejoicing and a time of serious introspection. It is a time to celebrate and a time to take stock of one’s life. Rosh Hashanah ushers in the Ten Days of Repentance culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I sounds like there is more to it than parties and bowl games.
Maybe we can learn from this and make New Year’s Day both a time of rejoicing and a time of taking stock of one’s life. Maybe 10 days of repentance would be a good way to start every new year. Just saying…. Anyway, Happy New Year!