New Year Celebrations Around the World:
New Year is celebrated on January 1st every year in most of the places. It is one of the world’s most celebrated holidays. People across the globe celebrate the New Year in different ways. New Year celebration starts at midnight with fireworks, parades, parties, etc. All these events are often televised. People make New Year’s resolutions or goals to improve oneself, to quit bad habits, to start good practices. In the United States, the beginning of a new year is marked by the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square. This event has been celebrated since 1907. New Year is a public holiday in the USA for the general people, schools, and colleges and most of the businesses are also closed on that day.
When did the world start celebrating New Years’? Let us discuss some interesting facts about the History of the new year celebration.
A History of the New Year
The earliest ever New Year celebration is believed to have been celebrated in Mesopotamia in 2000 B.C. It was celebrated during the Vernal Equinox, when the sun crosses the Earth’s equator, during that time day and night are of equal lengths. They also celebrated a festival called Akitu, an 11-day ritual along with the New Year. March 1st was the New Year as per the early Roman calendar, it only had 10 months starting with March.
1. Where Was the Earliest New Year Celebrated?
- A. Bulgaria
- B. Mesopotamia
- C. Greece
- D. Romania
In 46 B.C Julius Caesar introduced a new solar-based calendar called the Julian Calendar in which he added 90 more days to align the Roman calendar following the movement and position of the sun. Hence, New Year was moved from March to January, the act of starting the year in January was done to honor the Roman god of beginnings, Janus. He is depicted as having two faces, one looking to the future and one looking back at the past. Later, the Julian calendar was replaced with the Gregorian calendar because it was too inaccurate. Gregorian calendars were invented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 which is now the most widely used calendar across the globe. However, England and its American colonies started to adopt it only after 1752.
Chinese New Year
Every building, house, and street is decorated with red lights and lanterns. Red is believed to be an auspicious color as per the Chinese tradition. It is also believed that there once lived a bloodthirsty creature called Nian(Now the Chinese word for the year) that preyed on people every year. In order to frighten the beast away, people decorated their homes with red trimmings, burning bamboo, etc.
In Ancient Egypt, they celebrated New Year, Wept Renpet which means the opening of the year. It was based on the annual flooding of the Nile River so the date of the festival changes every year accordingly.