we often treat it as a secular holiday--and in some sense I suppose it is, one devoted to change and rejuvenation--but we rarely discuss new year's day in any way other than as a frame for resolutions, top 10 lists, and hangover tales. but it should have greater meaning for us.
while it seems randomly picked, especially in relation with other calendars, it holds incredible sway over us. we launch new enterprises and use it as a baseline for determining important things about ourselves, saying that some event happened this year instead of another. we greet the new year with toasts and cannons, promises of change and downtime. it's a day set aside to treat one another, not necessarily better or even differently, but with some recognition that this day is unlike the ones before and after it.