Astronomical secrets of the New Year

The whole world celebrated the Christian holiday of New 2013th year of the Nativity. But few people wondered why he says it in the winter time. What global causes underlie this tradition? Try to understand.

In general, the New Year is traditionally celebrated on January 1 in Russia and in Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand traditionally celebrate Christmas Day on December 25 and New Year fades into the background. The Slavs in this day is celebrated Kolyada. What kind of a date December 25? Light on this issue will help shed trailer Zeitgeist (Zeitgeist).

Carol — turn the sun in the spring, about the day said: "Will come a day, even for a sparrow gallop". Also that day, called Solstice. Carol — a symbol of the birth of the sun.

The sunny rhythms of the sun's death on the cross (Southern Cross), and the next three darkest days (symbolic burial of the sun) — is from 21 to 23 December. Sometimes this date is shifted by one day due to the peculiarities of modern calendar of which below. Thus, the birth of the new sun (solstice) is just 24-25 December.

Let us once again recall and note especially the solar calendar:

  1. it is associated with the cycles of the planet, which exist due to the tilt of the Earth axis (change of seasons, seasonal effects);
  2. it has four big events: the two solstices and the two equinoxes;
  3. it has four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter — well, at least the summer and winter, then there really is;
  4. solar cycle begins with the minimum, passes through the peak summer and after fading back to a minimum star.

What are the main features. In addition to solar, as you probably know, there is the lunar calendar. He, of course, is related to the phases of the moon. The moon was called the Slavs month. Example (from the fairy tale Ershov Humpbacked Horse):

Night came, month rises;
Ivan field all bypasses,
Ozirayuchis Circle
And sits down under a bush …

Or more recent example (from the song Lube — Call me):

Blue Month city hides
Not sad, and I can not cry.

Thus, the month — this is primarily the moon, and then the time period, which roughly corresponds to the full lunar cycle.

From Wikipedia: In the lunar calendar used by Jews, Muslims, Chinese, Indians and others lasting 29 months or 30 days. Some calendars start of the month falls on the day of the actual astronomical new moon, in the other beginning of the month is determined directly by observation (about the same length of the month).

Now, the modern calendar — combined solar-lunar. In it there is division in the months based on the lunar cycle. Only in this calendar months Fit so that there were exactly 12 (as to say it — the 12 constellations through which the Sun). Because now this is called a solar calendar that the connection is not obvious to the moon. Since all segments of the calendar face off integers, it is not exactly designed and used measures such as the months of different lengths, leap years, etc. The beginning and end of the solar cycle is also not exactly coincide with the beginning and the end of the calendar, the new year instead shifted from 24-25 December about a week later, at the end of the month. But at the same time, the shift is small and everything is about the beginning of the new solar cycle coincides with the rhythms of the sun. Because it is accepted to celebrate at midnight — it is believed that at this time the sun is at the nadir (opposite the zenith), ie at the lowest point of its travel, and from midnight begins to rise toward the sunrise. Of course, this view is also very conditional, because right now, especially given the location of time zones, daylight saving time, all sorts of reforms and amendments, while unfortunately becoming less connected with the rhythms of the Earth and Space.

Only the behavior of the one with the New Year (Christmas Carols, the young sun) is not sunny.

By the way, exactly the same and 360 indicate that before the year was 360 days. 1 degree — period orbit around the sun, which the Earth passes for 1 day. If based on current calculations to slow rotation of the earth, it turns out that the length of the year was as about 188 million years ago …

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