The word zodiac comes from the Latin/Ancient Greek meaning "cycle or circle of little animals". The Babylonians created the set of 12 zodiac signs at around 1500 BC. They knew it took 12 lunar cycles for the Sun to return to its original position. They then identified 12 constellations that they observed to be linked to the seasons. They also gave them names which are quite similar to the names of the zodiac signs we use now. The Babylonian astrologers believed that the Sun, Moon, and the five planets they had discovered back then, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus possessed powers. Mars, for example, appeared red and so then became paired with aggression… The Babylonians celebrated New Year’s Day in mid-March in an 11-day festival called Akitu, the Romans also celebrated New Year’s Day on the first day of spring, since this is when the natural world is reborn after winter. During the time of Ancient Greece, the first day of spring started when the sun appeared in the constellation Aries and then everything was marked from that time forward around the circuit of the year. It wasn’t until 45 BC that New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1, and this was because Roman dictator Julius Caesar decided to reform the Roman calendar. The Roman calendar was meant to be closely linked to the lunar cycle, but it fell out of line and the Julian calendar attempted to fix this. However, the celebration of New Year’s Day fell flat during the Middle Ages and people didn’t really observe the Julian calendar. In the late 1570s, Pope Gregory XIII brought in a Jesuit astronomer to come up with a new calendar and this one included leap years. Since then, people have celebrated New Year’s Day on January 1. The Greek Scientist Ptolemy helped popularise the 12 signs of the zodiac. This idea that there were 12 signs that were 30° wide, and that the Sun moved through these signs during the year was all written down in his book Almagest which served as the basic guide for Islamic and European astronomers until about the beginning of the 17th century. The zodiac signs and astrology, in general, was embraced massively by the Romans and the Roman names for the zodiac signs are still used today. Aries (March 21-April 19) Ram Taurus (April 20-May 20) Bull Gemini (May 21-June 20). Twins Cancer (June 21-July 22). Crab Leo (July 23-Aug. 22). Lion Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Maiden Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22). Scales Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21). Scorpion Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Archer Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Goat Aquarius (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18) Water carrier Pisces (Feb. 19 to March 20). Fishes