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Updated January 1st, 2024 at 08:17 IST

New Year 2024: Why do we celebrate New Year on January 1 - All you need to know

New Year 2024 is just around the corner. Before the clock strikes 12, let us know why January 1 is celebrated as New Year.

New Year 2024
New Year 2024 | Image:istock
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On January 1, as the clock strikes midnight and fireworks light up the sky, people all over the world will gather to welcome the New Year. We're sure you've planned your New Year's Eve party and have your outfits ready. The world will bid farewell to 2023 on January 1 and welcome the New Year 2024 with the hope of a more prosperous and brighter future.

On the 31 of December, New Year's Eve, people gather with friends and family to celebrate the wonderful occasion with gifts, sumptuous feasts, parties, and more. From elaborate fireworks displays to intimate family gatherings, New Year's traditions capture the essence of saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new. The beginning of a new year represents joy, strength, and hope for a better future. Learn more about the history, significance, traditions, and other aspects of the New Year on January 1.

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New Year 2024 | Image: istock

 

New Year 2024 History: Why is January 1 observed as New Year's Day?

In 45 BC, January 1 was first observed as the start of the new year. Previously, the Roman calendar started in March and lasted 355 days. Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator, changed the calendar after taking power. Janus, the Roman god of beginnings whose two faces allowed him to look forward into the future as well as backwards into the past, made January 1 the first day of the year in part to honour the month's namesake.

New Year 2024 | Image: istock

 

However, it was not widely accepted in Europe until the mid-sixteenth century. After Christianity was introduced, December 25, the day of Jesus' birth, became accepted, while January 1, the start of the new year, was considered heathen. It wasn't widely accepted until Pope Gregory changed the Julian calendar to make January 1 the official start of the year.

Furthermore, it is thought that the new year began in ancient Babylon around 2,000 BC, or over 4,000 years ago. The Babylonians celebrated the new year on the first new moon after the vernal equinox, usually in late March, with an 11-day celebration called Akitu, which included a different ceremony on each of the days.

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New Year 2024 | Image: istock

 

New Year 2024: Traditions and significance

The beginning of a new year is more than just a page turning; it is an opportunity for everyone to take stock of their lives and make a fresh start. Around the world, the start of a new year represents a new beginning and a sense of hope, encouraging people to set goals and seize new opportunities.

In many countries, New Year's Eve is on December 31, and celebrations last until the early hours of January 1. Foods and snacks thought to bring good fortune are consumed by revelers. People all over the world celebrate by singing songs and watching fireworks. Because the New Year represents a great opportunity for positive change, many people make resolutions for the coming year.

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Published December 31st, 2023 at 14:59 IST

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