What kind of holiday is this?
Opening a new calendar, we see that the first day is always a holiday. January 1 is it New Year. Everyone knows and loves a beautiful winter holiday since childhood. Probably, there is no other such event that would be celebrated simultaneously in all corners of our planet. New Year’s greetings and gifts create a special atmosphere and make even adults believe in a miracle. The date January 1 as the beginning of the year has no astronomical justification, but it is still a quite logical time for new beginnings. The December solstice has just passed, which since ancient times meant renewal and the beginning of a new life.
How the idea to celebrate came about New Year?
Some things seem so familiar that they cannot be questioned – the sun rises in the east and the New Year comes on January 1. But it was not always like that.
The celebration of the New Year has been known since the Mesopotamian civilization. The 12-day celebrations there took place in the spring. This time was considered a time of revival and victory over evil forces. Laws were temporarily suspended, and even the Babylonian kings left the city during the New Year celebrations so as not to interfere with their people’s rejoicing.
In Ancient Egypt, the arrival of the New Year was celebrated with the appearance of the star Sirius in the sky. This phenomenon coincided with the flooding of the Nile, which symbolized the fertility of the lands in the coming year. The celebration included religious rites, sacrifices and folk festivities.
In Asia and the Middle East, the New Year coincided with the vernal equinox. It is believed to have been part of the Zoroastrian religion. Rulers used the holiday to hold banquets and distribute gifts to their subjects.
The ancient Romans had a god called Janus. He was the god of doors, gates, beginnings and changes. Janus had two faces that looked forward and backward. Rome at that time lived according to the lunar calendar. Emperor Julius Caesar wanted to abolish the old and inaccurate calendar, and decided that the month of the god Janus – January – would become the door to the new year.
The new Julian calendar, created in 46 BC, was based on the solar cycle rather than the lunar cycle as it had been before. Caesar established January 1 as the first day of the year. On this day, the Romans exchanged gifts and good wishes with each other.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity in medieval Europe, the celebration of the New Year began to be considered a pagan tradition. Therefore, in many countries, the first day of the year was moved to traditional Christian holidays – the Annunciation, Christmas or Easter.
In addition, when creating the Julian calendar, the exact value of the solar year was not taken into account, so this led to confusion and the appearance of an extra 10 days in the year until the middle of the 15th century.
To solve this problem, the Christian church in 1582 introduced the Gregorian calendar, in which every fourth year became a leap year. Around the same time, most Catholic countries began to celebrate the New Year on January 1. But the Protestant countries did not immediately accept the new rules. For example, Great Britain did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752 and celebrated the New Year in March.
New Year in Russia
In Russia, as in most ancient peoples, the New Year came on the days of the vernal equinox, when the winter cold was behind and nature was reviving. Along with the introduction of Christianity, the date of the New Year’s celebration also changed – it became March 1.
In 1348, the Byzantine Orthodox Church established a new beginning of the year – September 1. But in the Ukrainian lands, which were first part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later – the Commonwealth of Nations, since 1362 the beginning of the new year has been celebrated on January 1. In the same Muscovite state, only under Peter the First, the coming of the New Year began to be celebrated on January 1, in order to synchronize the counting of time with European countries.
Some Orthodox churches, including the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, still haven’t adopted the Gregorian calendar, so the official New Year comes on January 1, and according to the Julian calendar, we have an unofficial holiday on January 14 – New Year according to the old style. Two New Year’s dates is a rather rare phenomenon, foreigners are usually surprised by it. In the 20th century, January 1 finally ceased to be associated with a religious holiday. The New Year is a secular event, so it is celebrated by people of various faiths.
Nowadays, January 1 is recognized almost everywhere as the beginning of the year, but there are exceptions. For example, the Chinese New Year is still determined by the lunar calendar and falls at the end of January or the beginning of February, the second new moon after the winter solstice.
Each year in China is associated with one of the 12 zodiac animals. In Islamic countries, the New Year falls on different dates every year according to the movement of the moon, and in the Jewish tradition, the beginning of the year comes in September.
New Year in history
1362In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the beginning of the new year began to be celebrated on January 1
1857One of the most popular songs in the world appeared – “Jingle Bells”. At first, it was intended to be performed on Thanksgiving Day, but it became world-famous precisely as a New Year’s song.
1948New Year’s Day, January 1, became a day off in the Soviet Union, and, accordingly, in Ukraine.
1954The main Christmas tree of Ukraine was installed for the first time on Sofia Square in Kyiv.
1996The world’s largest figure of Santa Claus decorated a shopping center in Singapore on New Year’s Day. Its height reached about 16 meters, and its weight was 2.5 tons.
2014On New Year’s Eve, 500,000 of our fellow citizens gathered together and sang the national anthem of Ukraine on Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv.
Frequent Questions and answers about New Year
The first glass Christmas balls appeared in the 16th century thanks to glassblowers from Thuringia. Mass production of Christmas tree glass ornaments began only in the 19th century.
Our ancestors did not work on New Year’s – so that the next year would not be too full of hard work. They also dressed in new clothes, and the festive table had to be rich. In this way, poverty and hunger were diverted from housing for the whole year.
According to time zones, the Pacific islanders of Kiribati are the first to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Finally, the holiday comes on Midway Island, also in the Pacific Ocean.
New Year in the Southern Hemisphere comes during the summer heat. Therefore, the celebration takes place in the fresh air, most often on beaches near the water. Conifers usually do not grow there, they are brought from European countries or artificial ones are used. Eucalyptus or other evergreen plants often play the role of a Christmas tree.
Most often, costumed New Year’s parties wear the costume of Elvis Presley, characters from the movie “Star Wars” and Dumas’ book “The Three Musketeers”. Robin Hood, Batman and Superman costumes are also popular.
Postcards for New Year’s Day
👉 Section Postcards and greetings ➕ Postcards in Viber ➕ Postcards in Telegram
🎁 Gifts for the New Year
|“Happy New Year” cup, Year of the Tiger 2022|
|Set (bodysuit+skirt+headband) My first new year|
|A pillow with a New Year’s print|
|“New Year” microfiber plaid|
|The Christmas story “When is the New Year?”|
How to celebrate New Year?
In different countries, the New Year is celebrated in different ways, but everywhere they start celebrating on December 31.
For example, in Vienna, the capital of Austria, on New Year’s Eve, residents of the city gather near St. Stephen’s Cathedral to welcome the holiday by ringing its largest bell.
Italians get rid of old things in an original way – they throw them out the window. Also in Italy they try to spend the New Year’s holiday in red clothes – for good luck.
In Vietnam, it is customary to release live carp into reservoirs on New Year’s Day. It is believed that God likes to swim on the back of this fish.
The inhabitants of the islands of Micronesia have a habit of changing their name on January 1. In this way, they seem to become inaccessible to evil spirits and can live the next year without troubles.
Every year, Ukrainians try to come up with something interesting for this fun holiday — change the interior, buy original gifts, diversify the New Year’s menu.
The actual celebration of the New Year in our country is largely based on traditions that pass from year to year. This is a bright Christmas tree, festive loud fireworks, bright tangerines, pleasant company, greetings from the President. A toast with a glass of champagne is also a must. By the way, the most popular New Year’s custom is related to it – when a note is burned with a wish, and the ashes are dissolved in champagne and drunk.
But the most important tradition for Ukrainians is not to be alone on New Year’s Day. Then life in the next year will definitely bring pleasant events.
Why do we love this day?
No matter how the past year turned out for us, if we decorate the Christmas tree, it means that we have overcome all difficulties!
We leave behind everything that brought disappointment and pain in the past year, say goodbye to traitors and close the door to the past forever. Ahead is a whole year of new attempts, achievements, fateful meetings and true happiness.
In the New Year, we feel grateful to fate for giving us another chance to start life over, to learn something new or to continue realizing our most desired plans.
For children, this holiday is also one of the most favorite. Holidays, winter fun, gifts – what could be better? The longer children believe in the existence of Santa Claus, the longer New Year’s holidays are fabulous for them. And parents can feel like good magicians when they stealthily hide gifts for their kids under the tree.
It is simply impossible not to love this holiday. New Year is the pleasure of communicating with family and friends, rest from working days, active entertainment or a soft and warm blanket, a pleasant movie or a good book, aromatic tea, chocolate and your favorite music. Everyone can spend this holiday as their heart desires, while not betraying traditions.
When will we celebrate New Year?