New Year's Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

New Year's Day
Observed byUsers of the Gregorian calendar
SignificanceThe first day of the Gregorian year
DateJanuary 1
CelebrationsMaking New Year's resolutions, parades, sporting events, fireworks
Related toNew Year's Eve, the preceding day
 
  (Redirected from Happy New Year)
Jump to: navigation, search
New Year's Day
Observed byUsers of the Gregorian calendar
SignificanceThe first day of the Gregorian year
DateJanuary 1
CelebrationsMaking New Year's resolutions, parades, sporting events, fireworks
Related toNew Year's Eve, the preceding day

New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year's Day is the closest thing to being the world's only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. January 1 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 14 on the Gregorian calendar, and it is on that date that followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the New Year. New Year's Day is a postal holiday in the United States.[1]

Contents

History

The Romans dedicated this day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and was subsequently murdered, the Roman Senate voted to deify him on the 1st January 42 BC [2] in honor of his life and his institution of the new rationalized calendar.[3] The month originally owes its name to the deity Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. This suggests that New Year's celebrations are founded on pagan traditions. Some have suggested this occurred in 153 BC, when it was stipulated that the two annual consuls (after whose names the years were identified) entered into office on that day, though no consensus exists on the matter.[4] Dates in March, coinciding with the spring equinox, or commemorating the Annunciation of Jesus, along with a variety of Christian feast dates were used throughout the Middle Ages, though calendars often continued to display the months in columns running from January to December.[citation needed]

Among the 7th century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands, it was the custom to exchange gifts at the New Year. This was a pagan custom deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemings and Dutchmen, "(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]." The quote is from the vita of Eligius written by his companion, Ouen.

Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. The March 25 date was known as Annunciation Style; the January 1 date was known as Circumcision Style, because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, considered to be the eighth day of Christ's life, counting from December 25 when his birth is celebrated. This day was christened as the beginning of the New Year by Pope Gregory as he designed the Liturgical Calendar.

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:

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; watchnight services are also still observed by many.[5]

Regional celebrations

National celebrations

New York City's Times Square is the best location for the New Year's celebrations in the United States with the famous ball drop.

New Year's Day

The celebrations held world-wide on January 1 as part of New Year's Day commonly include the following:

New Year's babies

A common image used, often as an editorial 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.

In modern time and world-wide, the association of parenthood is with a baby's arrival, with New Year's Eve a father and mother together presenting their newborn child as the new year arrives and is celebrated.

People born on New Year's Day are commonly called New Year babies. Hospitals, such as the Dyersburg Regional Medical Center[7] in the U.S., 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

Some churches 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 Jewish 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.

See also

References

  1. ^ United States Postal Service Website. About
  2. ^ Warrior, Valerie M. (2006). Roman Religion. Cambridge University Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-521-82511-3
  3. ^ Courtney, G. Et tu Judas, then fall Jesus (iUniverse, Inc 1992), p. 50.
  4. ^ Michels, A.K. The Calendar of the Roman Republic (Princeton, 1967), p. 97-8.
  5. ^ "Watch Night services provide spiritual way to bring in New Year". The United Methodist Church. http://www.interpretermagazine.org/interior.asp?ptid=43&mid=11612. 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)." 
  6. ^ 《世界节》岳峰主编
  7. ^ Dyersburg State Gazette (2008-12-31). "DRMC rounds up prizes for New Year's baby, Life Choices". Stategazette.com. http://www.stategazette.com/story/1489857.html. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 

External links