New Year's Day

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 by Users of the Gregorian calendar
Significance The first day of the Gregorian year
Celebrations Making New Year's resolutions, church services, parades, sporting events, fireworks[1]
Date January 1
Next time January 1, 2019 (2019-01-01)
Frequency Annual
Related to New Year's Eve, Christmastide

New Year's Day, also called simply New Year's or New Year, is observed on January 1, 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. As a date in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom, 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 and Lutheran Church.[2][3]

In present day, with most countries now using the Gregorian calendar as their de facto calendar, New Year's Day is probably the most celebrated public holiday, 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.

History[]

In Christendom, under which the Gregorian Calendar developed, New Year's Day traditionally marks the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, which is still observed as such by the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church.

Mesopotamia (Iraq) instituted the concept of celebrating the new year in 2000 BC and celebrated new year around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March.[4][5] The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten 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 December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months. (Septem is Latin for "seven"; octo, "eight"; novem, "nine"; and decem, "ten".) Roman legend usually cred their second king Numa with the establishment of the months of January and February. These were first placed at the end of the year, but at some point came to be considered the first two months instead.

The January Kalends (Latin: Kalendae Ianuariae) 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 January 1's new status.[6] 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.[7][8]

In AD 567, the Council of Tours formally abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on December 25 in honor of the birth of Jesus; March 1 in the old Roman style; March 25 in honor of Lady Day and the Feast of the Annunciation; and on the movable feast of Easter. These days were also astronomically and astrologically significant since, at the time of the Julian reform, March 25 had been understood as the spring equinox and December 25 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.) Medieval calendars nonetheless often continued to display the months running from January to December, despite their readers reckoning the transition from one year to the next on a different day.

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 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]."[9] However, on the date that European Christians celebrated the New Year, they exchanged Christmas presents because New Year's Day fell within the twelve days of the Christmas season in the Western Christian liturgical calendar;[10] the custom of exchanging Christmas gifts in a Christian context is traced back to the Biblical Magi who gave gifts to the Child Jesus.[11][12]

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 325. By the sixteenth century, the drift from the observed equinox had become unacceptable. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII declared the Gregorian calendar widely used today, correcting the error by a deletion of 10 days. The Gregorian calendar reform also (in effect) restored January 1 as New Year's Day. 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 1752. Until then, the British Empire  – and its American colonies  – still celebrated the new year on 25 March.

Most nations of Western Europe officially adopted 1 January as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian Calendar. In Tudor England, 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.[13] There, until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, the first day of the new year was the Western Christian Feast of the Annunciation, on 25 March, also called "Lady Day". 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,[14] 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.[15]

New Year's Days in other calendars[]

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

African[]

Sep
11
37 Tue Egypt
Ethiopia
Jun
10
23 Sun Philadelphia

East Asian[]

Jan
28
04 Sat ChinaVietnamSouth Korea
Jan
1
01 Mon Japan

Southeast Asian[]

Apr
13
15 Fri CambodiaThailandSri LankaLaos

South Asian[]

Apr
14
15 Sat IndiaBangladesh Nepal

European[]

Jan
13
02 Sat Pembrokeshire

Middle Eastern[]

Muharram
1
Sat Arab LeagueIsrael ( for native Arabs)
Mar
21±1
Wed Iran equinox
Tishrei
½
Mon Israel

Traditional and modern celebrations and customs[]

New Year's Eve[]

Sydney contributes to some of the major New Year celebrations each year.

January 1 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 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 December 31, called New Year's Eve. There are fireworks at midnight at the moment the new year arrives (a major one is in Sydney, Australia). Watchnight services are also still observed by many.[21]

Regional celebrations[]

National celebrations[]

Happy Christmas and New Year card

New Year's Day[]

The Annual Stoats Loony Dook held in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 1st January.

The celebrations and activities held worldwide on January 1 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.

The annual Vienna New Year's Concert, primarily featuring music composed by the Strauss family, is broadcast around the world.

New Year's babies[]

A common image used, often as an orial 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.[31]

Babies born on New Year's Day are commonly called New Year babies. Hospitals, such as the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center[32] 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 specialize in baby-related merchandise.

Other celebrations on January 1[]

The Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on January 1, based on the belief that if Jesus was born on December 25, then according to Hebrew tradition, his circumcision would have taken place on the eighth day of his life (January 1). The Roman Catholic Church celebrates on this day the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which is also a Holy Day of Obligation. In the United States, New Year's Day is a postal holiday.[33]

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

See also[]

References[]

Citations[]

  1. ^ a b 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. ^ McKim, Donald K. (1996). Dictionary of Theological Terms. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 51. ISBN 0664255116. 
  3. ^ Hobart, John Henry (1840). A Companion for the festivals and fasts of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Stanford & Co. p. 284. 
  4. ^ Brunner, Borgna. "A History of the New Year". Infoplease.com. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Andrews, Evan (31 December 2012). "5 Ancient New Year's Celebrations". History News. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Michels, A.K. The Calendar of the Roman Republic (Princeton, 1967), p. 97-8.
  7. ^ Macrobius, Book I, Ch. xiii, §17.
  8. ^ Kaster (2011), p. 163.
  9. ^ Quoting the Vita of St. Eligius written by Ouen.
  10. ^ Forbes, Bruce David (1 October 2008). Christmas: A Candid History. University of California Press. p. 114. ISBN 9780520258020. Some people referred to New Year's gifts as "Christmas presents" because New Year's Day fell within the twelve days of Christmas, but in spite of the name they still were gifts given on January 1. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ 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). 
  13. ^ Sim, Alison (8 November 2011). Pleasures and Pastimes in Tudor England. The History Press. p. 85. ISBN 9780752475783. Most of the twelve days of Christmas were saint's days, but the main three days for celebration were Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. 
  14. ^ Harris, Max (2011-03-17). Sacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools. Cornell University Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780801449567. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  15. ^ Trawicky, Bernard (2000-07-01). Anniversaries and Holidays (5th ed.). American Library Association. p. 222. ISBN 9780838906958. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  16. ^ [1] The Ethiopic Calendar by Dr. Aberra Molla
  17. ^ Gregg, Cherri (May 13, 2013). "Oshunbumi Fernandez, Caring Through Culture and Odunde 365". CBS Philadelphia. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-25. Retrieved 2005-11-30.  Nanakshahi Calendar at SGPC.net
  19. ^ a b c "What is 'Serbian New Year'?". Balkan Insight. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  20. ^ Mintz, Josh (2 January 2012). "The Hypocrisy of Turning New Year's Eve in Israel Into a Nonevent". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "Watch Night services provide spiritual way to bring in New Year". The United Methodist Church. 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 (pp. 288–294). 
  22. ^ Kochilas, Diane. The Glorious Foods of Greece. HarperCollins. p. 828. ISBN 9780061859588. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  23. ^ World Book (1998-09-01). Christmas in the Philippines. World Book, Inc. p. 61. ISBN 9780716608530. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  24. ^ Yue Feng, ed. (1991). 世界节 [World Festival]. Amazon.com (in Chinese). ISBN 978-7211058990. 
  25. ^ Medina, F. Xavier (2005). Food Culture In Spain. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 46. ISBN 9780313328190. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "History of America's State Parks First Day Hikes". California Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved January 4, 2018. 
  27. ^ "Lucky Foods for the New Year - New Year's Day - Epicurious.com". 
  28. ^ "Table of Contents: Orgelbüchlein :". libweb.grinnell.edu. 
  29. ^ "The Year Is Gone, Beyond Recall". www.hymntime.com. 
  30. ^ "Scotland - In the words of the Bard -". Scotland. 
  31. ^ Birx, H. James (2009-01-13). Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy, Theology, & Culture. Sage Publications. p. 510. ISBN 9781412941648. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  32. ^ "DRMC rounds up prizes for New Year's baby, Life Choices". Dyersburg State Gazette. Stategazette.com. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  33. ^ "2011-federal-holidays". 

Bibliography[]

External links[]