New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day is the first day of the year and according to the Gregorian calendar, falls on January 1st of each year.

It is a time for rejuvenation as well as for celebration and the popular way to ring the New Year in and bid farewell to the old. Many people make their mind up to give up bad habits and resolve to start good ones. They sit down to examine the last twelve months and plan for the next twelve. Around the world people follow different customs and keep different traditions to welcome the New Year but whatever the custom most people feel the same sentiment - peace and joy.

The origin

The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. The earliest documented New Year celebration occurred in Mesopotamia around 2000 B.C.E. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon after the Spring Equinox. The Babylonian New Year celebration went on for eleven days with each day having its own particular mode of celebration. The Romans observed New Year in late March. However, the Roman calendar was dependant on the whims and fancies of its many emperors so that the calendar soon lost its synchronization with the sun. The Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the New Year.

New Year traditions

One popular tradition is the making of New Year resolutions, like the promise to lose weight or give up smoking.
Since we believe that our luck would be affected by what we do or eat on the first day of the year it has become the tradition to celebrate the first few minutes of the new year in the company of family and friends.

The song, ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.

Traditions in different countries

  • In England and Scotland an extra round of football is played.
  • In California in the United States the Tournament of Roses is held while people watch the parade from the streets and on television. This is followed by the Rose Bowl football game.

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