New Year's Day

Last updated

New Year's Day
Mexico City New Years 2013! (8333128248).jpg
Fireworks in Mexico City at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, 2013
Observed byUsers of the Gregorian calendar and calendars where months are based on Gregorian calendar
SignificanceThe first day of the Gregorian year
CelebrationsMaking New Year's resolutions, church services, parades, sporting events, fireworks [1]
Date 1 January
Next time1 January 2022 (2022-01-01)
FrequencyAnnual
Related to New Year's Eve, Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmastide

New Year's Day, also simply called New Year or New Year's is observed on 1 January, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar. Whilst most solar calendars (like the Gregorian and Julian) begin the year regularly at or near the northern winter solstice, the start of the new year in cultures that observe a lunisolar or lunar calendar (such as the Chinese New Year and the Islamic New Year) happen at less fixed points relative to the solar year.

Contents

In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the day was dedicated to Janus, god of gateways and beginnings, for whom January is also named. From Roman times until the middle of the eighteenth century, the new year was celebrated at various stages and in various parts of Christian Europe on 25 December, on 1 March, on 25 March and on the movable feast of Easter. [2] [3]

In the present day, with most countries now using the Gregorian calendar as their civil calendar, 1 January according to that calendar is among the most celebrated public holidays in the world, often observed with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts in each time zone. Other global New Year's Day traditions include making New Year's resolutions and calling one's friends and family. [1]

Fireworks in London on New Year's Day at the stroke of midnight. New Years 2014 Fireworks - London Eye.jpg
Fireworks in London on New Year's Day at the stroke of midnight.

History

The ancient Babylonian calendar was lunisolar, and around the year 2000 BC [4] began observing a spring festival and the new year during the month of Nisan, around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. The early Roman calendar designated 1 March as the first day of the year. [5] The calendar had just 10 months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through to December, the ninth through to the twelfth months of the Gregorian calendar, were originally positioned as the seventh through to the tenth months. (Septem is Latin for "seven"; octo, "eight"; novem, "nine"; and decem, "ten".) Roman legend usually credited their second king Numa with the establishment of the two new months of Ianuarius and Februarius. These were first placed at the end of the year, but at some point came to be considered the first two months instead. [6]

The January kalend (Latin: Kalendae Ianuariae), the start of the month of January, came to be celebrated as the new year at some point after it became the day for the inaugurating new consuls in 153 BC. Romans had long dated their years by these consulships, rather than sequentially, and making the kalends of January start the new year aligned this dating. Still, private and religious celebrations around the March new year continued for some time and there is no consensus on the question of the timing for 1 January's new status. [7] Once it became the new year, however, it became a time for family gatherings and celebrations. A series of disasters, notably including the failed rebellion of M. Aemilius Lepidus in 78 BC, established a superstition against allowing Rome's market days to fall on the kalends of January and the pontiffs employed intercalation to avoid its occurrence. [8] [9]

New Year's Day in the older Julian calendar

In Christendom, 1 January traditionally marks the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ. Menologion of Basil 047.jpg
In Christendom, 1 January traditionally marks the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ.

The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in AUC  708(46  BC ), was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January AUC  709(45  BC), by edict. The calendar became the predominant calendar in the Roman Empire and subsequently most of the Western world for more than 1,600 years. The Roman calendar began the year on 1 January, and this remained the start of the year after the Julian reform. However, even after local calendars were aligned to the Julian calendar, they started the new year on different dates. The Alexandrian calendar in Egypt started on 29 August (30 August after an Alexandrian leap year). Several local provincial calendars were aligned to start on the birthday of the Emperor Augustus, 23 September. The indiction caused the Byzantine year, which used the Julian calendar, to begin on 1 September; this date is still used in the Eastern Orthodox Church for the beginning of the liturgical year.

At various times and in various places throughout mediaeval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on 25 December in honour of the birth of Jesus; 1 March in the old Roman style; 25 March in honour of Lady Day (the Feast of the Annunciation, the date of the conception of Jesus); and on the movable feast of Easter. [2] [3]

Christian observance

As a date in the Christian calendar, New Year's Day liturgically marked the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, which is still observed as such in the Anglican Church, the Lutheran Church, [10] [11] and by the Eastern Orthodox Church (Julian calendar, see below). The Roman Catholic Church celebrates on this day the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

Gift giving

Among the 7th-century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands, it was the custom to exchange gifts at the winter solstice. This custom was deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemish and Dutch: "(Do not) make vetulas, [little figures of the Old Woman], little deer or iotticos or set tables [for the house-elf, compare Puck] at night or exchange New Year gifts or supply superfluous drinks [another Yule custom]." [12] However, on the date that European Christians celebrated the Feast of the Circumcision, they exchanged Christmas presents because the feast fell within the 12 days of the Christmas season in the Western Christian liturgical calendar; [13] The custom of exchanging Christmas gifts in a Christian context is traced back to the Biblical Magi who gave gifts to the Child Jesus. [14] [15] In Tudor England, 1 January (as the Feast of the Circumcision, not New Year's Day), along with Christmas Day and Twelfth Night, was celebrated as one of three main festivities among the twelve days of Christmastide. [16]

Acceptance of January 1 as New Year’s Day

Most nations of Europe and their colonies officially adopted 1 January as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. France changed to 1 January from 1564, most of Germany did so from 1544, the Netherlands from 1556 or 1573 according to sect, Italy (not being united) did so on a variety of dates, Spain and Portugal from 1556, Sweden, Norway and Denmark from 1599, Scotland from 1600, and Russia from 1725. [2] England, Wales, Ireland and Britain's American colonies did so from 1752. [2] [3]

Great Britain and the British Empire

Until 1752, the Kingdom of Great Britain and its Empire at the time (except in Scotland, January 1 since 1600) had retained March 25 as the official start of the year (though informal use of 1 January had become common. [lower-alpha 1] ) With the Calendar Act of 1751, Britain and the Empire formally adopted January 1 as New Year's Day and, with the same Act, also discarded the Julian calendar (though the actions are otherwise unrelated). The Act came into effect "following the last said day of December 1751". [17] [lower-alpha 2]

(By 1750, an eleven day difference between the older Julian and the newer and more accurate Gregorian calendars also needed to be adjusted for. There was some religious dissent regarding feast days being moved, especially Christmas Day (see Old Christmas) and isolated communities continued the old reckoning to a greater or lesser extent. 1800 and 1900 were leap years in the Julian calendar but not in the Gregorian, so the difference increased to twelve then thirteen days. 2000 was a leap year in both calendars.)

Eastern Orthodoxy

At various stages during the first half of the twentieth century, all countries in Eastern Christendom adopted the Gregorian calendar as their civil calendar but continued, and have continued into modern times, to use the Julian Calendar for ecclesiastical purposes. As January 1 (Julian) equates to January 14 (Gregorian), religious celebration of the New Year on this date may seem strange to Western eyes.

New Year's Days in other calendars

Countries where the main celebrations of the New Year are other day than on 1 January Countries that do not celebrate New Year's Day on 1st January.png
Countries where the main celebrations of the New Year are other day than on 1 January

In cultures that traditionally or currently use calendars other than the Gregorian, New Year's Day is often also an important celebration. Some countries concurrently use Gregorian and another calendar. New Year's Day in the alternative calendar attracts alternative celebrations of that new year:

African

East Asian

Southeast Asian

South Asian

Middle Eastern

Traditional and modern celebrations and customs

New Year's Eve

Sydney contributes to some of the major New Year celebrations each year. OperaSydney-Fuegos2006-342289398.jpg
Sydney contributes to some of the major New Year celebrations each year.

The first of January represents the fresh start of a new year after a period of remembrance of the passing year, including on radio, television, and in newspapers, which starts in early December in countries around the world. Publications have year-end articles that review the changes during the previous year. In some cases, publications may set their entire year work alight in the hope that the smoke emitted from the flame brings new life to the company. There are also articles on planned or expected changes in the coming year.

This day is traditionally a religious feast, but since the 1900s has also become an occasion to celebrate the night of 31 December—New Year's Eve—with parties, public celebrations (often involving fireworks shows) and other traditions focused on the impending arrival of midnight and the new year. Watchnight services are also still observed by many. [25]

New Year's Day

The celebrations and activities held worldwide on 1 January as part of New Year's Day commonly include the following:

Music

Music associated with New Year's Day comes in both classical and popular genres, and there is also Christmas song focus on the arrival of a new year during the Christmas and holiday season.

New Year's Day babies

A common image used, often as an editorial cartoon, is that of an incarnation of Father Time (or the "Old Year") wearing a sash across his chest with the previous year printed on it passing on his duties to the Baby New Year (or the "New Year"), an infant wearing a sash with the new year printed on it. [36]

Babies born on New Year's Day are commonly called New Year babies. Hospitals, such as the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center [37] in the US, give out prizes to the first baby born in that hospital in the new year. These prizes are often donated by local businesses. Prizes may include various baby-related items such as baby formula, baby blankets, diapers, and gift certificates to stores which specialise in baby-related merchandise.

Other celebrations on 1 January

The Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on 1 January, based on the belief that if Jesus was born on 25 December, then according to Hebrew tradition, his circumcision would have taken place on the eighth day of his life (1 January). The Roman Catholic Church celebrates on this day the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which is also a Holy Day of Obligation.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed several church cantatas for the double occasion:

See also

Notes

  1. For example see Pepys, Samuel. "Tuesday 31 December 1661". I sat down to end my journell for this year, ... (The Diary of Samuel Pepys)
  2. This syntax was needed because, according the standard of the time the Bill was being written, the next day would still have been 1751.

Related Research Articles

Easter Major Christian festival celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Easter, also called Pascha, Zatik (Armenian) or Resurrection Sunday is a Christian festival and cultural holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.

New Year First day of a calendar year, in particular, January 1 in the Julian and Gregorian calendar

New Year is the time or day at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increments by one. Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner. In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system today, New Year occurs on January 1. This was also the first day of the year in the original Julian calendar and the Roman calendar.

The Revised Julian calendar, also known as the Milanković calendar, or, less formally, new calendar, is a calendar proposed by the Serbian scientist Milutin Milanković in 1923, which effectively discontinued the 340 years of divergence between the naming of dates sanctioned by those Eastern Orthodox churches adopting it and the Gregorian calendar that has come to predominate worldwide. This calendar was intended to replace the ecclesiastical calendar based on the Julian calendar hitherto in use by all of the Eastern Orthodox Church. From 1 March 1600 through 28 February 2800, the Revised Julian calendar aligns its dates with the Gregorian calendar, which was proclaimed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII for adoption by the Christian world. The calendar has been adopted by the Orthodox churches of Constantinople, Albania, Alexandria, Antioch, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, America, and Romania.

Vesak Buddhist festival marking the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha

Vesak, also known as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Puṇṇamā and Buddha Day, is a holiday traditionally observed by Buddhists and Hindus in South and Southeast Asia as well as Tibet and Mongolia. The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment (Nibbāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha in Theravada Tibetan Buddhism and Navayana.

Liturgical year Annually recurring fixed sequence of Christian feast days

The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.

Coptic calendar Egyptian liturgical calendar

The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter, a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III which consisted of the intercalation of a sixth epagomenal day every fourth year. However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar. To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic or Alexandrian calendar. Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.

Lunar New Year is the beginning of a calendar year whose months are moon cycles, based on the lunar calendar or lunisolar calendar.

Twelve Days of Christmas Period between 25 December and 5 January

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a festive Christian season celebrating the Nativity of Jesus. In some Western ecclesiastical traditions, "Christmas Day" is considered the "First Day of Christmas" and the Twelve Days are 25 December to 5 January, inclusive, with 6 January being a "thirteenth day" in some traditions and languages. However, 6 January is most often considered Twelfth Day/Twelfth Night with the Twelve Days "of" Christmas actually after Christmas Day from 26 December to 6 January. For many Christian denominations—for example, the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Church—the Twelve Days are identical to Christmastide, but for others, e.g., the Roman Catholic Church, Christmastide lasts longer than the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Little Christmas, also known as Old Christmas, is one of the traditional names among Irish Christians and Amish Christians for 6 January, which is also known more widely as the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated after the conclusion of the twelve days of Christmastide. It is the traditional end of the Christmas season and until 2013 was the last day of the Christmas holidays for both primary and secondary schools in Ireland.

Christmastide Christian liturgical period

Christmastide is a season of the liturgical year in most Christian churches. In some Christian denominations, Christmastide is identical to Twelvetide, a similar concept.

Epiphany (holiday) Christian feast, public holiday in some countries

Epiphany, also known as Theophany in the east, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation (theophany) of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.

Buddhas Birthday Birthday of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama

Buddha's Birthday is a Buddhist festival that is celebrated in most of East Asia and South Asia commemorating the birth of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, later the Gautama Buddha, who was the founder of Buddhism. According to Buddhist tradition, Gautama Buddha was born c. 563–483 BCE in Lumbini. Although based on stone inscriptions his birthplace might have been Odisha or Uttar Pradesh.

The Old New Year or the Orthodox New Year is an informal traditional holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the Old New Year falls on January 14 in the Gregorian calendar.

Nativity of Saint John the Baptist Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist

The Nativity of John the Baptist is a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist. The Nativity of John the Baptist is a high-ranking liturgical feast, kept in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran churches. The sole biblical account of the birth of John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke.

Korean New Year Traditional Korean holiday

Korean New Year is a festival and national holiday commemorating the first day of the Korean calendar(origined from Chinese New Year,also called Lunar New Year). It is one of the most important traditional Korean holidays. The celebration usually lasts three days: the day before Korean New Year, Korean New Year itself, and the day after Korean New Year. During this time, many Koreans visit family, perform ancestral rites, wear hanbok (한복), eat traditional food, and play folk games. Additionally, children often receive money from their elders after performing a formal bow.

Lists of holidays by various categorizations.

Birthday Anniversary of the birth of a person (or an institution)

A birthday is the anniversary of the birth of a person, or figuratively of an institution. Birthdays of people are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with birthday gifts, birthday cards, a birthday party, or a rite of passage.

The Serbs have many traditions. The Slava is an exclusive custom of the Serbs, each family has one patron saint that they venerate on their feast day. The Serbian Orthodox Church uses the traditional Julian Calendar, as per which Christmas Day falls currently on January 7 of the Gregorian Calendar, thus the Serbs celebrate Christmas on January 7, shared with the Orthodox churches of Jerusalem, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and the Greek Old Calendarists.

Adoption of the Gregorian calendar event in the modern history of most cultures

The adoption of the Gregorian Calendar was an event in the modern history of most cultures and societies, marking a change from their traditional dating system to the modern dating system that is widely used around the world today. Some states adopted the new calendar from 1582, some did not do so before the early twentieth century, and others did so at various dates between; however a number continue to use a different civil calendar. For many the new style calendar is only used for civil purposes and the old style calendar remains used in religious contexts. Today, the Gregorian calendar is the world's most widely used civil calendar. During – and for some time after – the change between systems, it has been common to use the terms Old Style and New Style when giving dates, to indicate which calendar was used to reckon them.

References

  1. 1 2 Mehra, Komal (2006). Festivals Of The World. Sterling Publishers. p. 69. ISBN   9781845575748. In many European countries like Italy, Portugal and Netherlands, families start the new year by attending church services and then calling on friends and relatives. Italian children receive gifts or money on New Year's Day. People in the United States go to church, give parties and enjoy other forms of entertainment.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "New Year's Day: Julian and Gregorian Calendars". Sizes.com. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 Bond, John James (1875). Handy Book of Rules and Tables for Verifying Dates With the Christian Era Giving an Account of the Chief Eras and Systems Used by Various Nations...'. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 91.
  4. Andrews, Evan (31 December 2012). "5 Ancient New Year's Celebrations". History News. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  5. Brunner, Borgna. "A History of the New Year". Infoplease.com. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  6. Forsythe, Gary (2012). Time in Roman Religion: One Thousand Years of Religious History. Routledge. p. 14. ISBN   978-0-415-52217-5.
  7. Michels, A.K. The Calendar of the Roman Republic (Princeton, 1967), pp. 97–98.
  8. Macrobius, Book I, Ch. xiii, §17.
  9. Kaster (2011), p. 163.
  10. McKim, Donald K. (1996). Dictionary of Theological Terms. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 51. ISBN   978-0664255114.
  11. Hobart, John Henry (1840). A Companion for the festivals and fasts of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Stanford & Co. p.  284.
  12. Quoting the Vita of St. Eligius written by Ouen.
  13. Forbes, Bruce David (1 October 2008). Christmas: A Candid History. University of California Press. p. 114. ISBN   9780520258020. Some people referred to New Year gifts as "Christmas presents" because New Year's Day fell within the 12 days of Christmas, but in spite of the name they still were gifts given on January 1.
  14. Collins, Ace (4 May 2010). Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Harper Collins. p. 88. ISBN   9780310873884. Most people today trace the practice of giving gifts on Christmas Day to the three gifts that the Magi gave to Jesus.
  15. Berking, Helmuth (30 March 1999). Sociology of Giving. SAGE Publications. p. 14. ISBN   9780857026132. The winter solstice was a time of festivity in every traditional culture, and the Christian Christmas probably took its place within this mythical context of the solar cult. Its core dogma of the Incarnation, however, solidly established the giving and receiving of gifts as the structural principle of that recurrent yet unique event. 'Children were given presents as the Jesus child received gifts from the magi or kings who came from afar to adore him. But in reality it was they, together with all their fellow men, who received the gift of God through man's renewed participation in the divine life' (ibid.: 61).
  16. Sim, Alison (8 November 2011). Pleasures and Pastimes in Tudor England. The History Press. p. 85. ISBN   9780752475783. Most of the 12 days of Christmas were saints' days, but the main three days for celebration were Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Epiphany, or Twelfth Night.
  17. "Calendar (New Style) Act 1750 | 1750 CHAPTER 23 24 Geo 2 | Section 1". Parliament of Great Britain.
  18. BBC South West Wales, Gwaun Valley children mark old New Year, 13 January 2012
  19. "Foula". Official Gateway to the Shetland Islands. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  20. Gregg, Cherri (13 May 2013). "Oshunbumi Fernandez, Caring Through Culture and Odunde 365". CBS Philadelphia. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  21. Helmer Aslaksen, "The Mathematics of the Chinese Calendar" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  22. Encyclopedia of Korean Seasonal Customs. The National Folk Museum of Korea (South Korea). 2014. pp. 30–46. ISBN   978-8992128926.
  23. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 November 2005. Retrieved 30 November 2005.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Nanakshahi Calendar at SGPC.net
  24. Mintz, Josh (2 January 2012). "The Hypocrisy of Turning New Year's Eve in Israel Into a Nonevent". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  25. "Watch Night services provide spiritual way to bring in New Year". The United Methodist Church. pp. 288–294. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011. The service is loosely constructed with singing, spontaneous prayers, and testimonials, and readings, including the Covenant Renewal service from The United Methodist Book of Worship
  26. "History of America's State Parks First Day Hikes". California Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  27. Mahon, Bríd (1998). Land of milk and honey : the story of traditional Irish food and drink. Dublin: Mercier Press. p. 148. ISBN   1-85635-210-2. OCLC   39935389.
  28. Tanis, David (28 December 2015). "A New Day of the Buttered Bread Has Dawned (Published 2015)". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  29. "Penguins, Flyers planning home-and-home series of outdoors games". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  30. "BT Sport to offer no-contract monthly pass for first time". Digital TV Europe. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  31. Murray, Scott (24 December 2015). "A brief guide to … English football over the Christmas holiday". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  32. McVeigh, Niall (31 December 2019). "Sport in 2020 calendar: your month-by-month guide to the year ahead". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  33. "Paddy Power returns to sponsorship at Cheltenham on New Year's Day". Racing Post . Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  34. "Table of Contents: Orgelbüchlein". libweb.grinnell.edu. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  35. "The Year Is Gone, Beyond Recall". www.hymntime.com.
  36. Birx, H. James (13 January 2009). Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy, Theology, & Culture. Sage Publications. p. 510. ISBN   9781412941648 . Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  37. "DRMC rounds up prizes for New Year's baby, Life Choices". Dyersburg State Gazette. Stategazette.com. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2012.

Bibliography