Happy New Year – But When!?

28 Dec

colonialtimesDid you know that for the first 130 years of Colonial America we celebrated New Year’s Day on March 25th? It’s true.

Britain at that time reckoned March 25th as the beginning of the new year. On this day rents were due, contracts began, and obligations were renewed. They based this on the Julian calendar – authored by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. That calendar had 12 months and 365 days, but had one flaw. There was no allowance for leap years, so it didn’t quite match up with the solar year.

Many European countries had already adopted the use of the Gregorian calendar – authored by Pope Gregory XIII. Britain, not wanting to follow a Pope’s lead, clung to the Julian calendar until 1752.

Colonial America was part of the British Empire, but it was also already culturally diverse. Immigrants from across Europe made the colonists familiar with both calendars. When the official switch came in 1752, the colonists took it all in stride, avoiding the upheaval that happened across the pond, and showing once again the colonists unique ability to adapt and prosper.

A nice tidbit of history to think about when writing – or reading – books set in Colonial America.


~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped




Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Pegg Thomas, Writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Happy New Year – But When!?

  1. Robin Patchen

    December 28, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Pegg, you are a fount of wisdom, as always. I had never known that.


    • Pegg Thomas

      December 28, 2015 at 9:15 am

      My head is full of useless knowledge. It’s handy when playing trivial pursuit … but that’s about it. 🙂


  2. Candice Sue Patterson

    December 28, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I didn’t know this! Thanks for sharing, Pegg! Very interesting.


  3. Jericha Kingston

    December 29, 2015 at 8:10 am

    This is awesome. I had no idea!



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