Did You Know? Countdown to New Years Day (12/28)

Did You Know?
Facts, Figures &
Folklore about About
New Year’s Eve &
New Year’s Day

Dec 28 : 3 Days till New Years Eve
4 Days till New Years Day

Did you know that Western nations have only celebrated the New Year for the last four centuries?

In medieval Europe the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unChristian. In 567, the Roman Catholic church abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. Thereafter, at different times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter, which continues to be based on the lunar calendar.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII re-established January 1 as new year’s day with calendar reform. Today the Gregorian calendar has become the international standard for civil use.

Did you know that not all cultures and religions celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st?

The Baha’i New Year, known as Naw Ruz or “New Day”, occurs on the Vernal Equinox.

The Islamic New Year begins on the first day of the first month (Muharram – December 18, 2009) of the Islamic calendar and is known as 1 Muharram. It is generally observed with quiet reflection and prayers.

Rosh Hashanah (September 19, 2009), New Years Day on the Jewish calendar, begins a 10 day period known as the High Holy Days - a time of penitence and prayer that ends with Yom Kippur.

In Japan, every February 3 or 4, based on the lunar calendar, Setsubun is celebrated. Although not a national holiday, Setsubun (“sectional/seasonal division”) has marked the last day of winter since the 13th century and is one day prior to the beginning of Spring, signifying a new year with the return of the warming sun, symbolic rebirth, rejuvenation of spirit and body, and preparing for the planting season.

The 15-day Chinese New Year (February 14, 2010) is celebrated on the second new moon (lunar) after the Winter Solstice (solar) – occurring between January 20-February 20 – culminating with the Lantern Festival

Did you know that Julius Caesar was the first to set January 1st as the New Year?

Caesar did so when he established the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar, decreed that the new year would occur on January 1st. Caesar wanted the year to begin in January since it celebrated the beginning of the civil year and the festival of the god of gates and, eventually, the god of all beginnings, Janus, after whom January was named.

The New Year is a time of friends and family, and parties and fun. A time of fireworks, counting down and rockin’ out with good ol’ Dick Clark (& that Seacrest guy). It’s a time for resolutions, realizations, and a brand new year.

Join us for a new Did You Know holiday fact each day as we countdown to the new year. New Years Eve will be celebrated Friday December 31st. New Years Day is Saturday January 01, 2011!

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