New Year presents all with a chance for fresh beginnings. Go through the article to discover various fascinating facts and trivia about it.
New Year Facts
New Year's Day celebrations are carried out throughout the world with great gusto and zeal. New Year signifies the beginning of a new chapter not just in an individual's life or a country's, but for the entire human race. Thus, it is one of the most awaited and celebrated global events. People from all walks life, caste, creed, and religion join in its revelry. Even different time zones are not able to divide infectiously the happy sentiments of the people that join them together on New Year's Eve. The end of the 365 day cycle that constitutes one year signifies the beginning of the next. This article sheds light on many fascinating and interesting facts about the New Year that make this day so very special.
- The first New Year was celebrated in the ancient Kingdom of Babylon almost 4000 years ago, which makes this day the ancestor of all holidays.
- No logic or any one particular reason can be attached to the celebrations of New Year on January 1, as there is no special agricultural or astronomical significance attached to this date. Many cultures and countries still continue to celebrate New Year in the spring season, which is the time of rejuvenation of earth and agricultural cycle.
- In around 46 BC, January 1 was declared as the New Year in the Julian calendar by the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar.
- Catholic community celebrates New Year’s Eve as the “Feast of Christ’s Circumcision”.
- As per the Roman calendar, the first month of the year, January, derives its name from the God Janus. As per Roman mythology, God Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking backwards and the other forward simultaneously. Since the Latin word Janus means door, the month signifies ‘spirit of the opening’.
- The tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year’s Eve has stemmed out of another Roman tradition, in which they gifted each other branches of sacred trees, which signified prosperity.
- In contemporary history, the Gregorian calendar revived the tradition of celebrating January 1 as New Year in 1582.
- It was only in the year 1752 that England adopted January 1 as the New Year’s Day. Until then, the feast of Annunciation held on March 25 marked the beginning of the year.
- The Scotts started celebrating New Year on January 1 some 150 years before the British.
- In Britain, when the famous Big Ben clocks strikes 12 on the New Year’s Eve, people gather together and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which is a Scottish song that means “old long ago”, or simply “the good old days”. It was written sometime in 1700s by Robert Burns.
- In 1793, the first French Republic made changes in its calendar and fixed the New Year at the autumnal equinox; however, 13 years later, Napoleon reintroduced the Gregorian calendar, which is now the most widely accepted system of day calculation.
- The heartiest and most emotionally charged party in which, thousands of people toast together takes place at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, where people celebrate the reunification of their country.
- As per a New Year tradition, it was believed that one’s good or bad fortunes over the next year would depend on the first visitor one receives on the New Year’s Day.
- In many cultures round the world, it is believed that gifting someone with ring-shaped object brings good luck as circular shapes signify the theme of the New Year – “coming full circle”.
- In Spain, the ritual of eating twelve grapes at the midnight of New Year’s Eve is followed. It is believed that by doing so, all the twelve months of the coming year would be filled with happiness.
- Making loud sounds and bursting fireworks is another ancient tradition followed on New Year’s Eve, which is assumed to cleanse the surrounding of evil spirits.
- It is believed that the tradition of making New Year resolution originated in ancient Babylon.
- Every year as part of the New Year’s Eve celebrations, a huge ball is dropped in the Times Square. It is made of crystal and weighs around one-half ton.
- Some cultures celebrate New Year’s Eve by leaving the front doors of their homes open at the midnight, so that the old year leaves and the new enters.
- The most widely made New Year’s Resolution around the world is to lose weight.
- The villagers of Papua New Guinea welcome the New Year by beating drums and lighting bamboo sticks.