The Science Of When We Celebrate Christmas & New Year
The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was all the way back in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. And a few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared Christmas would be celebrated on the 25th December.
I've always thought of Christmas and New Year going hand-in-hand, being one week apart. However, The New Year was actually celebrated on March 25 by Great Britain and its colonies until 1752, when the Gregorian calendar was introduced. (The Gregorian Calendar we use today was first adopted by some European countries as early as 1582. Turkey was the last country to officially switch to the calendar we use today - they only did so on January 1, 1927!)
You probably know that it won't be New Year everywhere on 1 January. Many places such as China, India and Israel also celebrate New Year at other times of the year, determined by their traditional calendars. Chinese New Year will be January 28 2017, most Hindu New Year celebrations fall in March-April, and Israel's New Year will be 21 September 2017.
And.. when we're ringing in the New Year on 1 January 2017, the date will be Sol 20 of Month Kanya, Year 216 on Mars, according to the Darian calendar.
Mars' New Year (Sol 1, Month Sagittarius, Year 217) will fall on 5 May 2017.
And on 1 January 2017, the date on the moon will be Year 49 Day 11 Cycle 20 in Lunar Standard Time. Lunar Standard Time has been designed by a Swedish not-for-profit to be used by colonists of the Moon.
Similarly, the Darian calendar is a proposed system of time-keeping designed for future human settlers on Mars. It was created by aerospace engineer and political scientist Thomas Gangale in 1985, and named after his son Darius. The time periods from which the calendar is constructed are the Martian solar day (sometimes called a sol) and the Martian vernal equinox year. The Darian year is divided into 24 months of 27 & 28 days, and into 96 weeks.
Since the Darian calendar and Lunar Standard Time are designed as civil calendars for human communities living on Mars and the Moon respectively, they currently have no function in the scientific community, which has no need yet to mark Martian time or Lunar time in terms of weeks or months.
But! I love the expectation and certitude represented by such calendars with regard to the expansion of humanity's horizons beyond Earth, thus far the only home we've ever known. And that's why I'll be wishing you all a Happy New Year next May!