Q. Is it right to observe New Year’s Eve Watchnight Services?
A. For the True Worshiper, it is most difficult to justify observing a day that has not been set apart by Scripture. The Bible’s new year is in the spring when the warmed earth brings forth new growth. Both the Gregorian calendar and Julian calendar before it have their new year in the dead of winter. The Roman calendar have originally had 10 months, with December deriving from the Latin word for tenth.
In 153 B.C.E. January became the first month of the year in the Roman Empire because that was when the Roman consul took over. A January new year was followed in both the Julian and our present Gregorian calendars. Pope Gregory XIII’s papal bull changed the calendar in 1582 and that change remains, demonstrating that our present calendar is a legacy from the Roman Catholic Church.
Thus, January 1 is a date established by man and has nothing to do with Yahweh’s sacred calendar. There is no reason we should celebrate an observance that means nothing to Yahweh. In fact, He tells us, “Learn not the way of the nations...” (Jer. 10:2). That is, we should not do what the world does, but come out of the world and follow Yahshua.
Perhaps there is some redeeming value in spending New Year’s Eve at a religious meeting instead of a bacchanalian, drunken festivity carried on by many at this time of year. However, it would be even more profitable and blessed of Yahweh to spend one’s time observing Yahweh’s specifically commanded seven annual Feast days at the proper times of the year.
The Feast Days were observed by the patriarchs, kept by the Savior, and will be kept in the Kingdom (Zech. 14:16-18; Hos. 12:9; Isa. 66:23; Ezek. 45:21; 46:9; Matt. 26:29). Keeping them now is part of the training to be kings and priests in the Kingdom so that we can learn and teach others, Revelation 1:6; 5:10.