New Year's Day , also simply called New Year , is observed on 1 January , the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar. 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.
In present day, with most countries now using the Gregorian calendar as their de facto calendar, New Year's Day 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. 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. 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. A series of disasters, notably including the failed rebellion of M.
These days were also astronomically and astrologically significant since, at the time of the Julian reform , 25 March had been understood as the spring equinox and 25 December as the winter solstice. The Julian calendar's small disagreement with the solar year , however, shifted these days earlier before the Council of Nicaea which formed the basis of the calculations used during the Gregorian reform of the calendar.
Among the 7th-century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands , it was the custom to exchange gifts on the first day of the new year. This custom was deplored by Saint Eligius died or , 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].
Because of the leap year error in the Julian calendar, the date of Easter had drifted backward since the First Council of Nicaea decided the computation of the date of Easter in By the sixteenth century, the drift from the observed equinox had become unacceptable. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries.
The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until Dates predicated on the year beginning on 25 March became known as Annunciation Style dates, while dates of the Gregorian Calendar commencing on 1 January were distinguished as Circumcision Style dates,  because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision , the observed memorial of the eighth day of Jesus Christ 's life after his birth, counted from the latter's observation on Christmas , 25 December.
Pope Gregory acknowledged 1 January as the beginning of the new year according to his reform of the Catholic Liturgical Calendar. 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:. 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 s 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. The celebrations and activities held worldwide on 1 January as part of New Year's Day commonly include the following:. 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. 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.
Hospitals, such as the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center  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.
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.
Johann Sebastian Bach composed several church cantatas for the double occasion:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 15 August For other uses, see New Year's Day disambiguation. For the day itself, unrelated to celebration of the New Year, see January 1. This section needs additional citations for verification.
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Main article: New Year's Eve. Festivals Of The World. Sterling Publishers. 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. Dictionary of Theological Terms. Westminster John Knox Press. A Companion for the festivals and fasts of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Retrieved 31 January History News. The Calendar of the Roman Republic Princeton, , pp. Eligius written by Ouen. Christmas: A Candid History. University of California Press. 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.
Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. Harper Collins. Most people today trace the practice of giving gifts on Christmas Day to the three gifts that the Magi gave to Jesus. Sociology of Giving. SAGE Publications. 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. 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.
Pleasures and Pastimes in Tudor England. The History Press. Cornell University Press. Retrieved 31 December Anniversaries and Holidays 5th ed. American Library Association. CBS Philadelphia. Archived from the original on 25 November Retrieved 30 November Balkan Insight. Retrieved 13 January Official Gateway to the Shetland Islands. Retrieved 29 March Archived from the original on 8 May Retrieved 5 March Retrieved 1 January The United Methodist Church. Archived from the original on 1 March Retrieved 28 December California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Retrieved 4 January Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 January Digital TV Europe. The Guardian. Racing Post. Archived from the original on 1 December