New Year’s Day
History and Customs
January 1st is the beginning of the new year according to the Gregorian calendar. The majority of countries across the globe follow this calendar and since in most of them it is a holiday; New Year’s Day can be considered the only global public holiday.
The month of January is named after Janus, the god of gates and doors who had 2 faces- one looking back and the other looking forward. This suggests that this festival is rooted in pagan traditions. Other lunar and solar calendars have it so the new year begins on different days of the Gregorian calendar. Even in Europe the new year was celebrated during the spring equinox or the feast of the Annunciation of Jesus for many years before they adopted the new standardised calendar. However, it has come to be that people around the world accept January 1 as the beginning of the new year.
The new year is symbolic of change and new beginnings which is why many people make personal resolutions on this day. Many people stay up till midnight of December 31 to count down to the new year and hold gatherings of friends and family to celebrate with them.
Have you ever made a personal resolution? You don’t have to wait till the 1st of January to do so. Make one today. Choose something that you would like to change about yourself and stick to your decision. There! You’ve made a resolution!
To read more interesting festivals for kids, click HERE