New Year 2023: Why is January 1 celebrated as New Year? History, significance, traditions and all you need to know

Jan 01, 2023 07:44 AM IST

New Year 2023: New Year is marked on January 1. People across the globe mark the day by celebrating with friends and loved ones on New Year's Eve (December 31) and the early hours of January 1. Know all about its history, significance, traditions and why the day is known as New Year.

2023 is just a few days away. On January 1, the world will bid goodbye to 2022 and welcome the New Year in the hopes of a brighter and prosperous tomorrow. Many countries around the globe mark January 1 as the New Year. On New Year's Eve (December 31), people get together with their friends and families on New Year's Eve to celebrate the joyous occasion with gifts, lavish feasts, parties and more. The beginning of a New Year symbolises happiness, renewed energy and hope for a better future. Know more about history, significance, traditions, and why January 1 is celebrated as the beginning New Year. (Also Read | New Year 2023: Fun and relaxing ways to celebrate New Year's Eve party at home instead of going out)

New Year 2023 history, significance, traditions and all you need to know. (Pexels)
New Year 2023 history, significance, traditions and all you need to know. (Pexels)

New Year 2023 History: Why is January 1 celebrated as New Year?

The first time January 1 came to be considered as the beginning of the new year was back in 45 BCE. Before that, the Roman calendar began in March and consisted of 355 days. It was Roman dictator Julius Caesar who reformed the Calendar after coming to power. He instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honour the month's namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future.

However, large parts of Europe did not accept it till well into the mid-16th century CE. With the advent of Christianity, January 1 as the beginning of a new year was seen as pagan and December 25, as the day of the birth of Jesus, was considered acceptable. It was only after Pope Gregory reformed the Julian calendar and standardised January 1 as the first day of a new year that it slowly became acceptable.

Additionally, it is believed that the new year originated in ancient Babylon some 4,000 years ago, in the year 2,000 BC. The Babylonians celebrated the new year with an 11-day celebration called Akitu, which included a different rite on each of the days, on the first new moon after the vernal equinox (typically around late March).

New Year 2023 Significance And Traditions

New Year celebrations in many countries begin on December 31, known as New Year's Eve, and last until the early hours of January 1. Revellers eat meals and snacks that are considered to bring them good fortune. Watching fireworks and singing songs are traditions that are practised all around the world. The start of a new year is an excellent time to make positive changes, which is why many people write down their resolutions for the coming year.

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