In the European tradition, the New Year for the past two millennia celebrated on the night of January 1. As we are all accustomed to, that day falls in the hemisphere in the winter. In this regard, the festival symbolically personified in the character of our Santa Claus. Fans of the warmer pastime for the holidays leave the southern hemisphere, where now the height of summer. However, nature abhors permanence. The sun gradually changes its position on the celestial sphere at the same times of the year, making it difficult for the person the task of creating a reliable calendar in the long term. Moving in time, we clearly trace the influence of cosmic forces on the Earth calendar, and how resourceful mind of man had to “tame”, despite the inexorable forces of nature.
The change of seasons on Earth directly connected with an inclination of the equator of the planet to the plane of its orbit, equal nowadays 23,5 °. In early January, when the Earth passes closest to the Sun point of the orbit (the perihelion, equal to 147 million km.), The planet’s southern hemisphere receives more solar energy than the north. The situation is reversed in early July, when our planet has been held for the outermost portion of the orbit from the sun (aphelion aphelion or equal to 152 million km.). Because of the constant tidal influence of the sun and moon, the axis of rotation of the earth describes a circle in space with a period of 26,000 years, practically without changing its tilt angle to the plane of Earth’s orbit. The simulation program Stellarium demonstrates the way the North Pole of the celestial sphere among the constellations. The diameter of the circle described by the precession, is approximately 47 ° (about 100 apparent diameter of the Moon), the center is located halfway between Vega and the Polar Star
Fluctuations in the Earth’s axis in space
for tens of thousands of years change their position on the sky and the stars themselves. This video shows the chaotic change of position of stars in the constellation for 100, 000 years before and after our time. Only constellation “composed” distant bright giants remain relatively stationary (the constellation Orion in the lower right corner)
For timing the ancient people used solar and lunar calendars. The days of the vernal equinox and the winter solstice marks the new year. This practice was very important to ancient farmers, as evidenced by the large number of megalithic structures on the Eurasian continent, and the primary purpose of which is the definition of the beginning of the excavation works. Christian Easter and Navruz peoples of Central Asia is closely connected with the ancient cult of the vernal equinox (March 19-21). La Roche-au-feu, the construction of megalithic age in 5000 years, located near the place of my work, Brittany, France. Every year on December 21 the crowd of onlookers watching how the sun illuminates the corridor of this building, which marks the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year). These facilities are spread over a wide area of Eurasia, from Eastern Europe to Scotlandtime between equinoxes, in turn, divided into shorter periods of alternating identical phases of the moon (about 13ti). As mentioned above, the special status of the vernal equinox (days of the rebirth of nature after winter) marked the beginning point of a new year many people. Since March began the year by the ancient Slavs. From this month (15 numbers) and started the year on the Roman calendar. However, the development of civilization and the increasing demands for precision has led to calendars calendars familiar to modern man type. In 45 BC in ancient Rome it introduced a new calendar based on the old Etruscan-Roman and Egyptian calendar, the so-called Julian, named Gaius Julius Caesar. Old Roman calendar consisted of 12 months, the names of which basically still remain: As already mentioned, the year started from March (in honor of the god Mars), followed by April (“opening” the beginning of spring), May (after the constellation of Maya, the goddess of fertility), June (in honor of Juno), Quintilis («five” late July, after Julius Caesar), Sextilis («the sixth», later in August in honor of Octavian Augustus), September («seventh»), October («eighth»), November («ninth»), December («the tenth»), January (after god Janus) and Februarius («month of purification”). Every few years, input and Mersedony 13 per month. The reform of Julius Caesar introduced such rules are not the same as the number of days in a month, and adding one day to February every 4 years – “leap year.” The new year started to run from 1 January familiar to us, as it was on this day in the Roman Republic is elected consuls for one year. God Janus in the mythological representations had two faces, one old, turned to the past, and a second youth, facing the future. Thus, Janus, in the late Republic and then Empire symbolized the transition from the old year to thenew, however, the Julian calendar is already comprised of 365 days a year, giving an error of 1 day every 128 years. Already in the 16th century, Pope Gregory reformed the calendar because of the substantial differences of the lunar calendar, which is determined on the day of the Passover and the day of the vernal equinox. Pope Gregory the 13th introduces new calendar. Bas, St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome The reform for October 4, immediately followed the 15th of the same month in 1582 (in Italy), leap years (366 days) were considered during a multiple of 4 but not divisible by 100, and all years divisible by 400. The error in one day in relation to the day of the vernal equinox was stored for 10 000 years. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church then refused to go to the Gregorian calendar. Initially, the Christian Christmas was connected with the days of the winter solstice (20th of December), which continues to mark the Catholic world on December 25 following the Gregorian calendar. Because of errors accumulated Julian calendar to the Gregorian respect, Orthodox Christmas is celebrated 13 days later – on 7 January. The transition to the Gregorian calendar was carried out in Russia after the 1917 revolution. The decree of 26 January 1918, the transition of Soviet Russia on the calendar of the “new” Gregorian style. Julian calendar in the Soviet (and later Russian) historians will be celebrated as the calendar of the “old” style Because of the precession of the Earth, the sun’s position in the sky during the spring equinox and the winter solstice gradually changed over the millennia. In the long term (after 11 000 years) it will lead to the fact that summer in the northern hemisphere will be in the period of the perihelion of the Earth in its orbit, and winter, respectively – the aphelion. This begs the question, does this mean that summer in Europe at that time will be in December and January, and winter in June? Not quite, as noted above, the Gregorian calendar is designed so that the calendar Christian holidays as possible to the day of the vernal equinox and the winter solstice. That is, the months and days of the “fit” to the height of the sun above the horizon at a certain time of the year and not at the position of the sun in the starry background in those days. Nowadays January 1 the Sun is in the constellation Sagittarius, but after 11 000 years in the same day it will be in the constellation of Cancer. In our time, the constellation Cancer the Sun “flies” in the summer. Familiar today, the winter constellations of the northern hemisphere, in that distant era will be seen already in the summer sky, and vice versa. It is obvious that after 10 000 years will be adopted another, more accurate than the Gregorian calendar, but modern calendars can serve us for thousands of years . Our descendants will long count down the new year on January 1, sitting at the banquet table warms them in the cold weather of the northern hemisphere! Happy New 2016! Less crises, more happiness and enlightenment to all of you!