Why is January 1st the New Year?
New Year’s Day is a festival observed by many countries around the world on January 1st. But have you ever wondered why is January 1st the “New Year”? Since when are we celebrating January 1st as the beginning of a year?
The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.
In 45 B.C., New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1 for the first time in history as the Julian calendar takes effect. However, celebration of New Year’s Day in January fell out of practice during the Middle Ages because the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.
In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as New Year’s Day. Since then, people around the world have gathered en masse on January 1 to celebrate the precise arrival of the New Year.
Here is a video that will explain you in details about the history of the modern New Year .
Wish you all a Happy and prosperous NEW YEAR 2023 !
Aditi Engel is an ardent student of Vedanta. She lives in Germany and has a keen desire to create awareness in the youth about different aspects of life.