New Year Celebrations History

The New Year of the Gregorian calendar which falls on January 1 is considered the birth of a New Year and the celebrations of its arrival can be seen all around the globe. While there are numerous calendars that remain in regional use a large part of the World has adopted the Gregorian calendar which means the celebrations have developed huge mass followings around the globe.

Millions of people get out on the streets and eagerly await the countdown which is then finally followed by wild celebrations and superb fireworks. The New Year Celebrations is one of the oldest holidays in the World actually. Many believe it was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago it marked the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox. The Babylonian New Year celebration lasted for eleven days.

The Romans on the other hand continued to observe New Year during the month of March, but their calendar was continuously tampered with by many of their rulers. As a result the calendar soon went out of synchronization with the Sun. In order to set that right it was declared in 153 BC by the Roman Senate that January 1 would be beginning of every New Year. But this New Year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the New Year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.

Around 46B.C Julius Caesar introduced a new calendar that was solar based and said to be a vast improvement of the ancient Roman calendar had become more or less in accurate over the years. It was devised by the Greek astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria from the unrivaled Egyptian solar calendar. Julius Caesar even wanted to change the date of January 1 to a more logical date like the solstices or equinoxes. This was how ever discouraged by the people as the date of Jan 1 was said to be the New Moon date in 45 B.C and changing that would be regarded as bad luck.

Caesar however has some sort of consolation when the Senate decided to have his birth month originally named Quintilis, renamed "July" in his honour. Like wise emperor Augustus was bestowed with a similar honour by renaming Sextilis as "August" in view of his contribution to the calendar. He corrected a mistake with regard to the calculation of the leap year. Earlier it was observed every three years. He abolished all leap years between 8 B.C. and A.D. 8 and thereby made the calendar more accurate.

While during the middle ages the new year celebrations especially in Europe were considered pagan and un Christian and the Council of Tours in 567 abolished Jan 1st as the beginning of a New Year. At various time during the Middle Ages the birth of Christ on Dec 25 was observed as New Year.

Post that the Gregorian Calendar was more or less adopted as New Year's day in 1952 which most of the Catholic countries adopted immediately. While it was only in 1582 that many protestant countries finally decided to adopt the Gregorian calendar. For example the Britain had adopted it only in 1752 when until which even their American colonies observed New Year in March.

Hence the New Year that we celebrate today has had quite a history of its own. Now with technology that has brought the World closer through increased awareness and opened up various forms of communication, New Year is celebrated on a more global scale. It is often greeted with a lot of hope, expectations and excitement.