New Year's in Spring?
What's the real new year?
Do you often set New Year’s resolutions only to discover that your enthusiasm fades away quickly? Aside from January 1st being the apparent beginning of our calendar, is there any other reason for this day to mark the start of the year? Wouldn’t new year’s in spring make more sense? Let’s explore…
Does it make sense to celebrate new year's in winter?
January 1st falls about a week and a half away from the first day of winter.
Although the days are gradually getting longer, they still remain short and dark. For those who practice seasonal living, you’ll know that winter is traditionally a time for rest, introspection, and slowing down. This mirrors what is happening around us in the winter season.
Contrary to this, modern culture celebrates January 1st as a day to set new intentions and goals—a very action-oriented approach where many attempt to make significant changes in their lives.
This practice seems to contradict the essence of the winter season, which traditionally emphasizes self-care, rest, and nourishment. The winter season is a time to turn inward rather than embark on something new.
In essence, this cultural phenomenon of celebrating new year’s on January 1st lacks coherence with the natural rhythms of the seasons.
It just doesn’t make sense….
Why spring makes more sense for new year's resolutions
Springtime truly signifies the season of new beginnings. The Earth is waking from her slumber and life is starting to bloom around us once again.
We need to remember that we too are part of nature. Despite the disconnection from nature that modern day has introduced, our true essence remains intertwined with the natural world.
In the spring season, just like the Earth, we have the opportunity to grow and bloom once again. Our period of rest and nurturing in winter has prepared us to establish new goals and to set new intentions.
As the days become brighter and longer, we find ourselves ready to take action. It is during this time that setting resolutions makes perfect sense!
Spring Equinox: The first day of spring
The first day of spring, marked by the spring or vernal equinox, occurs on either March 19, 20, or 21. In 2024, the spring equinox will take place on March 19th.
The spring equinox brings about equal parts day and night. From this point up until the summer solstice, the amount of light each day progressively lengthens and the days are longer than the nights.
With daylight gradually increasing during spring, it becomes an opportune time for personal growth. The spring season is characterized by abundant new growth in nature. We can tap into this energy to explore new possibilities within ourselves.
Spring is indeed a beautiful season for embracing “new beginnings” and for setting resolutions.
What history says about the new year
The modern calendar that we use with January 1st marking the beginning of the year came from the Roman Republic. But, the first Roman calendar created did not start with January, it started with March and went to December. Interesting…
We can also look at cultures that came before the Roman Empire to see what they say about the new year. Ancient Babylonian culture celebrated the new year on the first full moon after the spring equinox (the first day of spring).
Another intriguing aspect to consider in the context of the new year is astrology. In astrology, the first astrological sign is not determined by the sun’s position in January, but it is in fact the sun sign in March, Aries.
Aries season starts on March 21st and marks the start of the zodiac signs. This coincides closely with the spring equinox and, depending on the year, sometimes falls on the equinox itself. This astrological alignment with the beginning of spring further emphasizes the idea of the spring season being more closely related to the ‘new year’ than the month of January.
Should you celebrate new year's in spring?
If you find joy in setting resolutions on January 1st and celebrating the new year, there’s no need to alter that practice.
But, if you’re someone who sets new year’s resolutions and struggles to follow through, maybe it’s because you’re more aligned with new year’s in spring. Perhaps you’ll discover greater success by shifting your timeline and setting resolutions instead in the springtime.
For those who wish to live more in alignment with the seasons, celebrating the new year at the onset of spring may align better with this lifestyle.
Embrace the freedom to choose a celebration that aligns with your inner rhythm and brings meaning to your unique journey.
Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate. It’s all about what resonates with you and works best for your own personal journey.
Read This Next: Setting Intentions For Spring
Blakemore, Erin. “The New Year Once Started in March-Here’s Why.” History, National Geographic, 1 Mar. 2023, www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/the-new-year-once-started-in-march-heres-why.
Boeckmann, Catherine. “First Day of Spring 2024: The Spring Equinox.” Almanac.Com, 23 Jan. 2024, www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox.
“Equinox.” National Geographic , education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/equinox/. Accessed 23 Jan. 2024.