The Colchester Archaeological Trust at the Roman circus
would like to wish everyone a happy new year!
We thank you for your support and interest in 2016
and we give you our best wishes for 2017.
The ancient Romans celebrated the new year on the first of January with feasting and drinking and the giving of gifts, especially money for prosperity, lamps for a year full of light, and jars of figs and dates for a year of sweetness and good fortune. They probably named the month of January after Janus, the two-faced god who looked to both the past and the future and was the god of beginnings and endings, doorways, war and peace, and even of trade and shipping. Interestingly, a broken Roman ceramic lamp has been found at Colchester which is decorated with the image of a ship (1st century AD, from the Trust’s Culver Street site).
Read more about the Roman new year at http://flavias.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/ancient-roman-new-year.html .
(Original image by Maliz Ong, published in the public domain at www.publicdomainpictures.net which we acknowledge with thanks.)