A Brief History of New Year Celebrations Around the World

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Today we celebrate New Year's, a time for us to reflect on the previous year and decide what kind of future we want to live.

Around the world, different countries have interesting ways of celebrating this holiday, from fireworks to dancing to dressing in color-coordinated outfits. 

New Year's Eve is one of the most popular holidays celebrated in the world.

The tradition started centuries ago and evolved into a global celebration.

These days, New Year celebrations are different around the world.

Do you know where these traditions started?

Learn about some of the various customs and beliefs associated with New Years day throughout history.

When did the history of New Year begin?

When did New Year begin?

Unfortunately, we still do not know when the New Year began.

At the very least, New Year's would have already been born when we started using lunar and solar calendars.

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What is a lunar or solar calendar?

If you are wondering so, please read this article as well.

What is a lunar calendar and what is a solar calendar?

Most of the world now uses the solar calendar.

However, China used to use a lunar calendar, so they still celebrate the lunar New Year.

New Year's Day in Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, the year was 10 months long.

Among them, March 1 was New Year's Day.

  • Republic of Venice (until 1797)
  • Russia (from 988 to the end of the 15th century)

This calendar was used in these countries.

Incidentally, in Russia from the end of the 15th century to 1700, September 1 was the New Year.

This date was set based on the episode of God's creation.

Around 713 B.C., Numa Pompilius added January and February in Rome, at which time January became the New Year.

However, it appears that the highest office in Republican Rome, the Consul, could not use the calendar with the addition of January and February until 153 BC.

Unfortunately, the specific reason why it was not used is not well known, as historical records are scarce for Rome at this time.

In 45 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar.

From this point on, the calendar became much closer to the one we use today.

This was followed by the Gregorian calendar, which we use today.

From the time these two calendars began to be used, New Year's Day was decided to be January 1.

New Year's Day in Medieval Europe

The date of this New Year's Day differed according to history and culture.

In countries that were strongly influenced by Christianity, New Year's Day was celebrated on December 25 according to the Christmas calendar,

  • Germany and England (until the 13th century)
  • Spain (since the 14th century)

It was used in these countries.

In addition, a Romanian-born monk introduced a calendar in 525 A.D. that made the Annunciation (March 25) the New Year.

This was a major spread in the region of Europe during the Middle Ages.

In the Kingdom of Great Britain, it was adopted until January 1, 1752.

Also, there is this calendar.

  • Easter Saturday
  • Good Friday, the Friday before Easter

The calendar designates either of these as New Year's Day.

It has been in use in France since the 11th century.

This calendar was used in France from the 11th century onward.

Other calendars have had different dates for New Year's Day.

However, one thing can be said.

That is that the standard for New Year's in medieval Europe was mostly related to Christianity.

New Year's in Asian countries

Chinese New Year means January in the lunar calendar.

This lunar New Year is more important than the New Year of the New Year.

In addition to China, there are also other countries such as

  • Taiwan
  • Korea
  • Vietnam

In Japan, January 1 is a national holiday.

In addition to New Year's Day, the first three days of the New Year (New Year's Day through January 3) are also a vacation for many Japanese.

When did such a New Year's holiday begin and take root?

If you want to know more about Japanese New Year,

Please read this article.

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