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Why was March 25th made New Year’s Day ?
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Why Do We Call Spring “Spring” ?

We call this time of year spring because during the winter months many of the plants will either die or go dormant, but in the Spring time of year the flowers bloom and the new life Springs out from the old.

And, the more interesting question,

“Why was March 25th made New Year’s Day ?”   1. see history

That question has the same answer as the question,
Why do we count the years as AD 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, etc. ?

A long time ago, the years were numbered according to a rulers’ reign. For example, the 28th year of the reign of Caesar Augustus, or the 2nd year of the reign of Caesar Nero.

In the sixth century Pope John I asked Dionysius Exiguus
[his name translated into English as “Dennis the Little”]
to calculate the dates for Easter in the coming years. 2
Easter does not fall on the same calendar date each year. It is a movable feast.

Dionysius produced his book Liber de Paschate in 532 AD. He based his new calendar on the coming of Jesus Christ. When he made his new calendar charts which he called “cycles” he explains his new way of numbering the years. He wrote :

“We have been unwilling to connect our cycle with the name of an impious persecutor [Diocletian], but have chosen rather to note the years from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ …”

He had begun his new book with the words :
Anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi,” translated into English as
“in the year of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
A.D. is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase used by Dionysius Exiguus’ 3

The Miracle

Nine Months Before Christmas

Matthew 1:18
“Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was … found with child through the Holy Spirit.”
Cf. Luke 1:26-38


This is why the current year is counted as the number of years after the coming of Jesus Christ.

Since, Jesus was born on December 25, and counting back nine months before that we can, approximately, conclude He was conceived on March 25th. That is why March 25th was made New Year’s Day by Dennis the Little in the sixth century. This lasted until the adoption of our current calendar. In AD 1752 new Year’s Day was moved to January 1st for England and the American colonies. But, in AD 1751 New Year's Day was March 25th.

The coming of Jesus Christ is the turning point of all history. This is why we count the years as BC or AD. Greater than the miracle of Christmas is the miracle of the Incarnation when Jesus came into the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary nine months before the first Christmas.



Endnote 1.
This fact can be verified by looking at any good almanac or encyclopedia under the entries for March, Calendar, New Year’s Day, January etc.

There were both secular and religious calendars in the past, as is still the case today. And these varied from place to place. In many other countries the secular calendars were standardized into the present format in the year 1582. Although, the tradition of January 1 being New Year’s Day goes back to Julius Caesar and his calendar in 46 B.C.

The tradition of celebrating the New Year in the Springtime goes back to an ancient Jewish tradition of celebrating it in the month of Nisan, which corresponded to the month of March. It was during this month that the Passover Feast was celebrated. Although the Jews currently celebrate New Years at Harvest time, they used to celebrate it in the Spring according to their ancient Passover tradition. See Exodus chapter 12.

Exodus 12:1-11
“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. … every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb … it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. … you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD.’ ”
[This month is called Abib, Exodus 23:15 – or Nisan, Babylonian name Neh. 2:1, – or March. It occurred in the Springtime near the vernal equinox]

“In fact, an ancient Passover poem, used in synagogue liturgy, depicts four great events in salvation history occurring on the same calendar day as Passover: the creation of the universe, the covenant with Abraham, and Israel’s deliverance from Egypt all occurred on the night of the Passover. And it was on this night that the future messianic king was expected to bring redemption.” [ Edward P. Sri’s article “The Heart of the Home” in CFR, (Steubenville: Emmaus Road, 1998) edited by Hahn and Suprenant, pages 165-166, in a reference to poem called the “Poem of the Four Nights,” found in the Jewish targum Neophyti, cited in Lucien Deiss, It’s the Lord’s Supper (London: Collins, 1975), 35.]

Endnote 2.

In 525 AD Pope John I had requested that Dionysius Exiguus [Dennis the Little] compute a table or cycle for computing the future dates of Easter. Dionysius produced his book Liber de Paschate in 532 AD. He began his new book with the Easter cycles with the words
“anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi DXXXII” (Latin for
“in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 532,” or A.D. 532) [See Endnote 2 ]

In the beginning of this book Dionysius wrote a letter to the Bishop Petronius where Dionysius explains his reasoning for his new way of numbering the years. Up until this time it had been custom to number the years according to the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD) who had greatly persecuted the early Christians. Dionysius wrote these words to Bishop Petronius:

“We have been unwilling to connect our cycle with the name of an impious persecutor [Diocletian], but have chosen rather to note the years from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the end that the commencement of our hope might be better known to us and that the cause of man’s restoration, namely, our Redeemer’s passion, might appear with clearer evidence” (Migne, Vol. 67, 1865, p. 20, “Epistolae Duae De Ratione Paschae,” English translation of Latin text).

Endnote 3.

Venerable Bede (673?-735) promoted this pattern of numbering the years by introducing the term B.C. as an English abbreviation denoting the years “before Christ.” Charlemagne was the first ruler to give it a wide usage.

“Christ is ‘the goal of human history, the focal point of the desires of history and civilization, the centre of mankind, the joy of all hearts, and the fulfillment of all aspirations’ ”
[JPII Mane nobiscum Domine 6]

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