Why one must not celebrate New Year?
NOTE: While this post discusses the Islamic perspective on celebrating New Year, I mean no offence to my christian friends nor I am trying to hurt their feelings. This is just an effort in educating my Muslim friends about celebrating New Year.
1st January. Consciously or subconsciously, directly or indirectly, willingly or unwillingly the world is under the influence of the New Year craze.
When I told one of my friends that we should not say Happy New Year and that we Muslims should not celebrate the New Year, I got the retort: Why are you like this?
The start of the Gregorian calendar is based on mythological concepts! I am sure many of our Christian brothers and sisters themselves will not be aware of this fact!
When you celebrate the Gregorian New Year, you are knowingly or unknowingly, acknowledging the existence of a mythical god!
When you take part in the New Year celebrations of the Gregorian calendar, you are becoming a part of a people celebrating mythology, celebrating superstition!
Let me elaborate a little so that no one needs to react saying why Muslims are like that!
A GREGORIAN CALENDAR is “a calendar in general use introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a revision of the Julian calendar, adopted in Great Britain and the American colonies in 1752, marked by the suppression of 10 days or after 1700 11 days, and having leap years in every year divisible by four with the restriction that centesimal years are leap years only when divisible by 400 …” See Merriam webster dictionary
The name of the month January comes from the word Janus
This Janus refers to “a Roman god that is identified with doors, gates, and all beginnings and that is depicted with two opposite faces” (Definition taken from Merriam Webster )
January, first month of the Gregorian calendar. It was named after Janus, the Roman god of all beginnings. January replaced March as the first month of the Roman year no later than 153 bce. (Refer Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Encyclopaedia Britannica provides more information on the word Janus:
“Janus, in Roman religion, the animistic spirit of doorways (januae) and archways (jani). Janus and the nymph Camasene were the parents of Tiberinus, whose death in or by the river Albula caused it to be renamed Tiber.
The worship of Janus traditionally dated back to Romulus and a period even before the actual founding of the city of Rome. There were many jani (i.e., ceremonial gateways) in Rome; these were usually freestanding structures that were used for symbolically auspicious entrances or exits. Particular superstition was attached to the departure of a Roman army, for which there were lucky and unlucky ways to march through a janus. The most famous janus in Rome was the Janus Geminus, which was actually a shrine of Janus at the north side of the Forum. It was a simple rectangular bronze structure with double doors at each end. Traditionally, the doors of this shrine were left open in time of war and were kept closed when Rome was at peace. According to the Roman historian Livy, the gates were closed only twice in all the long period between Numa Pompilius (7th century bc) and Augustus (1st century bc).
Some scholars regard Janus as the god of all beginnings and believe that his association with doorways is derivative. He was invoked as the first of any gods in regular liturgies. The beginning of the day, month, and year, both calendrical and agricultural, were sacred to him. The month of January is named for him, and his festival took place on January 9, the Agonium. There were several important temples erected to Janus, and it is assumed that there was also an early cult on the Janiculum, which the ancients took to mean “the city of Janus.”
Janus was represented by a double-faced head, and he was represented in art either with or without a beard. Occasionally he was depicted as four-faced—as the spirit of the four-way arch. Refer Encyclopaedia Britanicca
So what is the conclusion?
The need of the hour, therefore, is to clear the minds from the deep-seated cobwebs of mythology!
Now you understand why it is NOT RIGHT to celebrate Gregorian New Year!
I bow my head in gratitude to Allah for having saved us from the pitfalls of superstitious beliefs!
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