New Year’s Day was originally observed on March 1 when the old Roman calendar was used. The very first observance of New Year’s Day on January 1 – its current day of observance – was 153 BC. The change from March 1 to January 1 happened because the two Roman consuls for whom the years of the Roman calendar were named and numbered had started to be chosen on January 1. However, in 525 AD Dionysius Exigenus chose March 25 as the start date of the Julian calendar. He did this to commemorate the Annunciation of Jesus Christ. When this happened a permanent New Year’s Day no longer existed as a variety of dates for Christian feasts were used to observe the New Year.
Today, January 1 is the first day of the year under the Gregorian calendar. It is one week after Christmas Day. A happy New Year generally starts on December 31, New Year’s Eve, as many people participate in New Year's Eve events. These events may include one or more of the following activities:
1.Attending large, public firework displays
2.Hosting or attending New Year’s eve parties in which a countdown to the New Year begins several seconds before midnight, after which lots of cheering and noise takes place, confetti is thrown, and people kiss each other
3.Attending a dinner party at someone’s home
4.Having dinner at a fancy restaurant
5.Dancing the night away at a club
6.Attending community events that might include music, dancing, and games
Some people prefer to take a vacation and celebrate New Year’s Day in an exotic locale, tropical paradise, or quaint countryside inn. They may visit a city or country to participate in its New Year’s celebration. Some of the most well known celebrations include the following.
•In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – a place that is known for its spectacular parties and festivals – a gigantic, world famous fireworks display takes place on the famous Copacabana beach.
•New York City’s celebration includes the lowering of a 1,070- pound Waterford crystal ball. The ball, which is 6-feet in diameter, is perched high above Times Square and begins its descent during the very last minute of the year – reaching the bottom at midnight.
•Russia celebrates the happy New Year in style by lighting fireworks and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve. It is a family celebration that includes lavishly prepared dinner tables and gifts.
For those who are not recovering from their New Year’s Eve celebration, New Year’s Day might be spent watching football games, preparing a nice meal, going to movies, or just relaxing. Some more adventurous souls who are members of the Polar Bear Club will plunge into freezing bodies of water on New Year’s Day.
Another tradition associated with New Year’s Day is to make New Year’s resolutions or promises to meet a goal during the New Year. This is befitting, since a New Year brings with it the chance for new beginnings. Some of the most popular resolutions include improving health, quitting smoking, losing weight, and improving finances.
Having a happy New Year Day starts the New Year on a positive tone. Hopefully, a happy New Year Day will turn into weeks and months of joy and success.