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Where Did New Year's Eve Resolutions Even Come From?

December 30, 2016

You are either one of two people at the dawn of a new year: You diligently plan what your resolution will be OR you make fun of those who make the resolution, knowing good and well that they will likely never achieve their resolution.

No matter which category you find yourself in, you might be somewhat intrigued to find out how all this New Year's resolution stuff came about.

If you really knew the true origin, it might be enough to change your whole perspective on it!

According to History.com, it is assumed that ancient Babylonians were the very first people to start New Year's resolutions and to honor the New Year.

Although the Babylonians did not possess a written calendar, this tradition is believed to have started over 4,000 years ago!

And if you think that it's stressful finding the right outfit for this once-a-year mega celebration, you have it easy compared to them. Back then, the Babylonians had a grand 12-day religious festival called Akitu.

The people would either crown their new King or make clear their loyalty the the current King. Also during this time, they would make promises to God as a way to pay their debts.

After further investigation, these promises are what we know now to be New Year's resolutions. They believed that if they kept their promises to their God, they would be given favor in the coming year. If they failed to keep their promises, they would fall out of favor.

 Over time, the idea of making promises to God evolved when Julius Caesar decided to change the start of the New Year. Typically, Babylonians celebrated the New Year around mid-March, surrounding the planting of new crops. Caesar moved the celebration of New Year to January in 46 B.C.

In 1740, English clergyman John Wesley, created the Covenant Renewal Service which was essentially a church service on New Year's Eve.

According to History.com, the services included scripture readings and the singing of hymns. This is often still celebrated in many churches today.

Although making resolutions started with religious roots, now people have begun to make secular resolutions as well.

Now you know the real story behind why we celebrate New Year's and why resolutions are a thing. It's not just a fun celebration, but it's full of history from many, many years ago.

Does this change your outlook on making resolutions?