Are you a big fan of Roman history? Do the life and deeds of great historical figures like Julius Caesar fascinate you in particular?
In this short guide you will find interesting news about this character and about the accomplishments during his dominion in ancient Rome.
I just want to anticipate that it was he who established January 1st as the first day of the year, which today coincides with the New Year in Italy and in many other countries.
That’s right: one of the greatest Generals and consuls was the architect of the Julian calendar, very similar to the Gregorian one, even today adopted here as well as in many other parts of the world.
If you wish to know other details about the institution of the New Year and how it is celebrated in our country, here are a few curiosities which might be of interest to you.
Julius Ceasar: the great consul who started the New Year’s Eve celebrations
How could one start reporting the greatness of a man like Julius Caesar? Perhaps from his date of birth, which dates back to 100 BC. Belonging to a patrician family, he began at a tender age to study rhetoric and grammar.
Very soon he distinguished himself in the political life of the city and over the years he held increasingly important positions:
- Proconsul of Gaul in 58
- Quaestor in 68
- Maximum Pontiff in 73
And not only that: it was Julius Caesar, the architect of the famous First Triumvirate, that is, a pact of close alliance with Crassus and Pompey aiming at the total conquest of power.
Telling you about all his glorious military and political achievements would be really long, but I want to tell you that he was also the inventor of our much-loved New Year’s Eve.
In the year 46 a.C. Caesar wanted a new calendar, which in his honor was baptized Julian and set the beginning of the new year on the first day of January.
This at a time when every population celebrated this anniversary when they wanted, without a specific date!
But would you like to know how he came to this decision? Well, it seems that it was partly intended to honor Giano, the Roman god who showed two faces, one to look into the past and the other into the future.
And not only that: on January 1st the Romans used to make sacrifices in his honor, exchange gifts, decorate houses and take part in dancing parties.
New Year’s Eve traditions made in Italy
Thanks to the great Julius Caesar, every year we wait anxiously for the night between December 31st and January 1st to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one.
I bet you too are already organizing to celebrate with your family and close friends, to have fun all night, right?
But what are the most heartfelt Italian traditions on this long day of festivities? Apart from a special dinner with dishes typical of this time of the year, serving lentils with the main course is an Italian particular custom.
It seems that these legumes, vaguely resembling small coins, bring good luck and money, and wish for economic success.
And I’ll tell you more: another dish that all Italian tables should have on New Year’s Eve is cotechino, did you know this? And have you ever wondered why?
I’ll tell you this “secret”: pork is a symbol of prosperity for different cultures, including ours!
In many Italian cities there are spectacular firework displays, which explode at the stroke of midnight accompanied by shouts of joy and celebration.
If you haven’t decided where to spend the New Year, I suggest you stop a few days in the beautiful city of Rome.
Apart from enjoying the festivities organized in the various squares of the city, it will be a unique opportunity to visit the marvelous remains of the Eternal City, so dear to the great Julius Caesar.
The cost of the full ticket is 12 euros and is valid for two days. Here you can find other useful information on the visiting times and other monuments that you can visit during the Christmas holidays.