From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
New Year's Day is the first day of the year, in the Gregorian calendar. In modern times, it is January 1. In most countries, it is a holiday. It is still celebrated as a religious holy day on January 14 by those who still follow the Julian calendar such as followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches known as Old Calendarists.
January 1 marks the end of a period of remembrance of the passing year, especially in radio, television and the newspapers, which usually starts right after Christmas Day. Political parties, governments and sports teams are rated by journalists, notable events are reevaluated in summaries in news sources, comedians get to reuse comedic material about news events again.
This day is traditionally a religious feast, but since the 1900s, has become an occasion to celebrate on the night between December 31 and January 1, called New Year's Eve. There are often fireworks at midnight. Depending on the country, individuals may be allowed to burn fireworks, even if it is forbidden the rest of the year.
Specific, high-profile or common celebrations
In the Middle Ages, most European countries used the Julian calendar. By this method, Annunciation Day as it was called, was celebrated on March 25. This celebration was to honour the day that it was announced that Mary would give birth to the Son of God, Jesus. This is exactly nine months before what is now Christmas Day.
In 1582, the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and Roman Catholic countries began to celebrate New Year's Day on January 1. This calendar heralded a slow but gradual introduction, Scotland in 1600; Germany, Denmark and Sweden about 1700; then Britain and its colonies in 1752.
Other New Year's Days
Rosh Hashanah, meaning 'beginning of the year', is the Jewish New Year. It is generally celebrated in September, on the first two days of Tishrei. This celebration is prescribed by the Old Testament as a Holy Sabbath.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese celebrate New Year's Day sometime between January 10 and February 19 of the Gregorian calendar. Each year is symbolized by one of twelve animals, on an even recouring pattern. It is their most important holiday. See Chinese New Year