New Year and Old Year
New Year and Old Year
 
 
The new year starts at midnight on January 1.
The new year starts at midnight on January 1.
 
 
Celebrations for the new year
Celebrations for the new year
 
 
Fireworks are set off at midnight.
Fireworks are set off at midnight.
 
 
A float at the Rose Bowl Parade in California
A float at the Rose Bowl Parade in California
 
 
Taking the plunge in icy water on January 1
Taking the plunge in icy water on January 1
 
New Year's Day
Topic(s):   Holidays & Celebrations
Quick Facts
Name: New Year's Day
Celebrated on: January 1 in many places
Started: at least 4,000 years ago

People have been celebrating the new year for thousands of years. They just did not agree on when that was. Some said the year started in spring. Others put it at mid-winter. Then calendars were invented. The Julian calendar started in 46 BC. It put New Year’s Day on January 1st. That honored the Roman god, Janus. He was the god of beginnings.

In the 1500’s, Europe changed to the Gregorian calendar. (That is the one still widely used today.) It kept New Year’s Day on January 1st. But January 1st came a few days earlier.

Many cultures still use different calendars. For example, some religions use the Julian calendar. Their New Year’s Day is on January 14th. The Chinese calendar is based on the moon. Its New Year may start any time from January 20 to February 20.

When the new year is near, people think about the old year. They promise to make changes for the new year. These are called resolutions. An old man symbolizes the old year. The new year is a baby.

In the United States, celebrations start on New Year’s Eve. (That is the night before.) People go to parties. They shoot off fireworks. They count down the seconds to midnight. At midnight, friends sing Auld Lang Syne.

On New Year’s Day, people watch parades and football games. The Polar Bear Club swims in cold lake waters to raise money for charity. Stores have big sales.

Resource information

Brunner, B. (n.d.). A history of the new year. Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearhistory.html

Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d.). New Year festival. Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/412273/New-Year-festival

New Year's Day. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://wilstar.com/holidays/newyear.htm

New Year's. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.history.com/topics/new-years

Orthodox New Year. (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2013, from http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/orthodox-new-year

Wiggs, A. (2009, December 30). The history of Baby New Year. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/the-history-baby-year-5178201.html?cat=74

Citation information

APA Style:        New Year's Day. (2014, February). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style:       "New Year's Day." Facts4Me. Feb. 2014. http://www.facts4me.com.

Back To Previous          Back To Top

Copyright © 2006 - 2018, Facts4Me. All rights reserved.