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On Wed, Dec 31, 2003 at 08:06:28PM -0800, Costentin Cornomorus wrote:
> Personally, I rather fancy the ancient practice
> of having the New Year on Lady Day (25 March).
> Quite a ways til the REAL new year!...

Not so ancient.  January 1st was the first day of the new year in the
calendar was decreed by Caesar; the Lady Day/Annunciation/etc thing was a
much later innovation, and not a universal practice.  That's one good
thing the Gregorian Reform had going for it, anyway: it brought the Brits
back to a sensible date for the New Year.  :)

(I understand the March 25th idea: start the year on the equinox [which
originally fell on the 25th, but drifted due to the inaccuracies in the
Julian year, and the Gregorian reform only corrected back to Nicaea,
not to Caesar].  But why not start a new month at the same time?
Heck, why stop there?  Start a new week, too!  Get all your ducks
in a row, so the year starts with the first second of the first
minute of the first hour of the first day of the first week of the
first month of the first season of the year.

And don't talk to me about incommensurability; just pick the closest
whatever to the equinox.  Nobody but astronomers cares when the actual
equinox is, and they care about it to such precision that it's calendrically
hopeless anyway. :)

-Mark