'New Year' is an event that takes place when the world celebrates the end of one year, and the beginning of the next. In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system today, the first day of January is often considered as a national holiday across the globe. However, in some countries like China, the first day of the year is celebrated according to their own calendar.
In many cities across the world, firework displays take place as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the last day of the year (December 31).
Conventionally, Sydney has been the host to one of the first of these celebrations as New Year arrives there before most other major cities. New Year’s Day celebrations vary widely across different cultures, and certain parts of the world have specific traditions associated with the day.
Celebrations such as parties, concerts, parades, church services, family meals etc. are held worldwide on January 1 as part of New Year's Day, and many start celebrating the day before (on New Year's Eve) and go on past midnight into January 1.
People dress colorfully and indulge in fun-filled activities such as dancing, singing, playing games, and attending parties. Night clubs, movie theatres, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks are filled with people of all ages on the new year's eve. People greet and wish each other 'Happy New Year', and exchanging messages, greeting cards and gifts are part of the 'New Year' celebration.
Cultural or religious events are organised during this time, and people visit places of worship on the first day of the new year.
New Year's History
Civilizations around the world have been celebrating the beginning of each new year for decades. The city of Babylon in ancient Mesopotamia was where the first New Year's celebrations took place about 4,000 years ago. New year's day is considered to have a Romanian origin.
The Roman king Numa Pompilius, during his reign (c. 715–673 BCE), revised the Roman republican calendar so that January replaced March as the first month. In 46 BCE Julius Caesar introduced more changes, though the Julian calendar, as it became known, retained January 1 as the year’s opening date.
In some cultures, the New Year's Day coincided with the Annunciation of Jesus. 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. It is also believed that the tradition of exchanging gifts on New Year's Day originated in the 7th century. Over time non-Christian countries also began to use the Gregorian calendar. China (1912) is a notable example, though it continued to celebrate the Chinese New Year according to a lunar calendar. In fact, many countries that follow the Gregorian calendar also have other traditional or religious calendars. Some nations never adopted the Gregorian calendar and thus start the year on dates other than January 1. Ethiopia, for example, celebrates its New Year (known as Enkutatash) in September.
Which country celebrates New Year first?
The New Year is celebrated first in Oceania, and the event is first celebrated on the small Pacific island nations of Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati. New Zealand follows next in celebrating the New Year, followed by Australia, Japan, and South Korea, while the last place to celebrate New Year is Bakers Island which lies in the central Pacific Ocean.
New Year's day in India
New Year’s Day on January 1 is a restricted holiday when the government offices and most businesses remain open, and public transport remains also available. Mostly people report late to work on January 1 due to late night celebrations, and the security is tightened in prime cities as incidents of molestation and fights have been rising since last few years. The arrival of foreign tourists is at its peak during the New Year’s Day, especially in locations, which are known to be a favorite tourist destinations.