The “Auspiciousness” of New Year Resolutions

Why do we not make resolutions on any other day of the year but specifically have something called “New Year Resolutions”?

Just a couple of weeks more and we are ready to welcome the New Year with all its grandeur and magnificence. News Channels would perhaps be busy making their databases ready for much-awaited shows like “The 10 Best Movies of the Year”, “The 10 Best Songs of the Year” or may be “The 10 Best Technological Innovations of the Year” and not to forget those special shows where astrologers are seen shuffling their deck of cards to foretell the course of our lives in the coming year.

Amidst all this, we are busy making preparations for our New Year bash, the venue, food, theme and what not. But then suddenly dawns upon us, the sense of realization that we ought to make some New Year “resolutions”. There can be a couple of factors responsible for this realization – it can be a conversation with your friends, family members or professors. I remember, in my school days my professor would ask all of us to share our resolutions with the class, a day before our Christmas breaks were about to begin. Apart from this, those future-predicting shows could have scared you enough with the ups and downs coming your way that you decided to make some vows and better your daily routine. Even something as simple as the headlines of the news about the year 2017 coming to an end could be a plausible factor  to have sent you down your memory lane to retrospect and finally make your mind up to change your way of doing things. So what is so special about the last eve of the year to which we are to say goodbye in a few more moments that we make resolutions that day?

Perhaps, it is the fear that one more year is on the verge of completion and we have still not been able to accomplish all that we had aimed to. This is a feeling that most of us can relate to. The hectic schedules of the college – class work, never-ending assignments, preparations for ever-going CTS, club work and then fests. Phew! We are hardly left with enough time to have a proper sleep, let alone to introspect and keep a track of what is done and what hasn’t been yet. Days keep passing at a lightning fast speed and before we even know we find ourselves writing the end sems and packing our bags to leave. Whoosh! In this hurry-burry, we’re probably left with no choice but to wait for the year to end. Sigh.

Or it can be the massiveness associated with a “year” that forces us to reflect upon one’s wrongdoings in the previous year and seek and offer forgiveness, for a “day” might seem to be insignificantly small to hold ourselves accountable for our deeds and resolve to mend our ways.

Moreover, making resolutions on the New Year’s Eve means we have a whole of 365 spick and span days ahead of us. According to psychologists, this gives an optimistic feeling and provides for an opportunity to start afresh. It also encourages us to set long-term goals.

Besides that, the New Year’s resolution, a tradition most common in Western Hemisphere, has various religious origins. The tradition dates back to some 4000 years ago, when the ancient Babylonians used to hold a grand 12 – day long festival to welcome the New Year (though their year used to begin in late March with the onset of the harvest season). They used to make promises to their god that they would pay their debts.

The Romans would begin each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month January is named. God Janus had two faces – one looking backward which is symbolic of looking back into the past and the other looking forward into the future. The Romans believed that god would forgive them for their wrongdoings in the previous year. They made promises of good conduct and sought blessings from god Janus.

In the Medieval era, the knights would take “peacock vows” at the end of Christmas season each year to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry.

So, have you made your resolution yet or are you waiting for that auspicious day to make one? 

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Abhilasha Nagpal

A perseverant and an inquisitive technocrat who respects human values, has an eye to detail and is passionate about athletics, writing and introspecting.

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