Ye Opinion: Back in My Day, We Didn’t Need a New Year Every Year
Entitled peasants think they deserve a new year every 365 days
By Churles the Wet
Every January, millions of subjects around the Kingdom gather to ring in the New Year. They make resolutions, celebrate merrily with loved ones, and reflect on another year passed under the Beneficent Reign of The King.
Whilst their intentions may be genuine, the entire idea of New Year's disgusts me. ‘Tis a symbol of the entitlement of the younger generation.
Back in my day we didn’t need to get a new year every year just to feel goode about ourselves. We were plenty satisfied with the olde one. If ye didn’t like the olde one, well, ye shut yer mouth, buttoned up yer britches, and went back to war.
It’s just like this privileged generation to expect that they’ll get a new year every January 1st. When I was a wee lad, we’d be lucky to even get a new month when tymes were lean. I remember one winter it was February for four years.
Who’s payin’ for all these new years anyway? ‘Tis comin’ outta our taxes I betcha’.
What really makes me blood boil is this new Gregorian calendar. ‘Tis just an attempt by the Gregorianists to make us conform to their worldview that somehow their paltry calendar is superior to all others.
Answer me this: Who gave Pope Gregory XIII the authority in October 1582 to determine which calendar I have to live my life by? As far as I can tell, the Julian calendar was working just fine up until that point. And what about lunar calendars, or calendars based entirely around the growing season for turnips? Did they even get a vote?
If I want to make a resolution to get in shape, why does Pope Gregory XIII get to decide when I do so? I bet if ye dug deep enough you'd find out he's getting kickbacks from all the resolutions people are making.
I think it's time somebody stood up to Pope Gregory XIII and told him his calendar is a sham.
So if ye care more about free will than about subjecting yer new diet to Pope Gregory XIII's calendarial edicts, and if ye don’t want to be just another entitled peasant who expects a new year every year, then join me. Let’s stick it to the Gregorianists and stop celebrating New Year's!
Addendum: Not My Calendar
A papal bull issued by Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian calendar in 1582. It would replace the Julian calendar, which had been in use since the days of Julius Caesar in 45 BC.
Since the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the vernal equinox had shifted about 10 days earlier in the year, from March 21 to March 11. This was causing an issue for the Church because the equinox is used to calculate the date of Easter. (Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.)
To make up for those 10 days, the Gregorian calendar decreed that Thursday 4 October 1582 would be immediately followed by Friday 15 October 1582.
The Gregorian calendar was soon adopted by Catholic states in Europe, such as France, Spain, Italy, and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Other countries refused, claiming it was too “popish.” It wasn’t fully adopted across Europe until the early 20th century.
Great Britain — and its American colonies — began using it in 1752. That year in Britain, Wednesday 2 September was followed by Thursday 14 September. Prior to that time, New Year’s was celebrated on 25 March in Great Britain, and had been since 1155. With the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s was moved to 1 January.
Of course, a year shortened by 11 days meant there were 11 fewer days in which the king could collect taxes, and we couldn’t have that. The start of the tax year was accordingly moved from 25 March to 5 April to incorporate those extra tax days. In 1800 the start of the tax year was moved to 6 April so the crown could squeeze yet another day of taxes out of its subjects, and to this day the British tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April the following year.
This also led to probably apocryphal claims about rioters in England taking to the streets demanding “Give us our eleven days,” partly because they were unhappy with the change for religious reasons, and partly because they thought their lives would now be 11 days shorter.
Some other interesting adventures in adopting the Gregorian calendar:
Alaska didn’t adopt the Gregorian calendar until it was purchased by the U.S. from Russia (which still used the Julian calendar) in 1867. When the U.S. bought it, Alaska was also moved across the International Date Line. Friday, 6 October 1867 was followed by Friday, 18 October 1867. (Two Fridays in a row! Call me up next time your subarctic territory is adopting the Gregorian calendar.)
Various parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth adopted the Gregorian calendar in the 1580s, soon after it was decreed. Following the Third Partition of Poland in the 1790s, however, areas under control of the Russian Empire reverted to the Julian calendar, only to return to the Gregorian calendar in the early 20th century. Parts of Lithuania skipped ahead 10 days in 1585, skipped back 11 days in 1800, then skipped forward 13 days in 1915, resulting in missed birthday parties for many Lithuanian children.
Saudi Arabia adopted the Gregorian calendar in 2016 for use in how it pays government employees, possibly in an attempt to pay them less.
In other news, while trying to get Midjourney to make a picture of a dragon rider drunk on New Year’s Eve, here’s what it gave me for the prompt “drunk dragon rider”: