New Year’s Eve, most sane people agree, is unsatisfactory, and I put it to you that this is because, as celebrated in Britain at least, it’s at totally the wrong time of year. It’s far too soon after Christmas, and only marks the beginning of the dreariest part of winter. What’s so great about starting January? Nothing. The sales are plenty to be getting on with.
The ancient Babylonians had the right idea: New Year started on the first new moon after the vernal equinox, which in 2011 I make April 3. Perfect! Spring is springing, buds are budding etc. So can I take it that we’ll all be implementing that change this year?
(And we won’t have any of that Hootenanny nonsense either: there’s no way Nebuchadnezzar would have stood for marking the new year by watching Jools Holland and friends milling about a studio on some Tuesday evening in September.)