The ancient Roman calendar originally only had ten months, but by 8th century BCE the early Roman king Numa Pontilius added the months that became January and February in our calendar. Originally, the Roman New Year's Day was in March, similar to ancient Mesopotamia in using the vernal equinox to mark the New Year. However, by 45 BCE the Romans decided to reform their civil calendar, under Julius Caesar, and New Year's Day was moved to January 1st. This was initially so it would correspond to the beginning of the tenure for the two Roman consuls, who held the highest office in Roman state. The Roman tradition after the Julian reforms included giving sacrifices to god Janus, with January named after him, giving gifts to others, and even decorating homes with laurel. The Roman, of course, loved to have raucous parties and many events often involved heavy wine drinking, with lavish parties given by wealthy Romans in their homes.
==New Year's Day Today==