What is the New Year and its History

What is the New Year and its History

There is always an appeal that comes with new things to humans. Whether we are getting a new car, a new piece of clothing, a new house, or entering a new year, we are always happy about it. Perhaps, the major reason for this appeal is the fact that we are getting something we have never gotten before. Even when it is something we have gotten before, chances are that we were already tired of the old one because it had depreciated in quality and functionality and hence, we look forward to getting a new one. The same mentality is also transferred to entering the New Year. The New Year of the Next Year is one of the moments we consistently look forward to, for many people, from the first day of the current year. You can find more about New Year’s Eve and day in this article.

What is the New Year?

The New Year is the first day of the Gregorian calendar, which is the first day of January or January 1. It is the day that comes after the last day of the previous day and marks the official beginning of another year. The importance of the New Year, as well as the significance of the day before as the last day of the year, has made the New Year’s Eve important as well. Hence, the New Year can be defined as the last day of the year and the day before the New Year. The New Year is a day that has been special for several centuries and continues to be special because of its history and importance as will be discussed subsequently.

What is the History of the New Year?

The History of New Year’s Day can be traced to the year 2,000 BC (some 4000+ years ago), which is the earliest recorded celebration of the day. This earliest recording was in Mesopotamia where a date around the middle of March was fixed as the New Year date. There are many other cultures including Greek, Persia, Phoenix, and Egypt that celebrated their new year at a different date.

In the early Roman calendar, the 1st of March was designated as the date for the celebration of the New Year. This Roman calendar only had 10 months, with March being the first month. It was not until 700 B.C. that January was added to the Calendar and the New Year was first celebrated on the 1st of January in 153 B.C. in Rome. In the year 46 B.C., a new calendar, based on the solar system was introduced by Julius Caesar. The calendar was a much better version than the former Roman calendar that was based on the lunar system.

In medieval Europe, the New Year celebration was cancelled as it was believed to be unchristian like and considered pagan. Hence, several times and in several places across medieval Europe, the New Year was celebrated alongside Jesus’ birth on December 25th. However, in 1582, the New Year date was returned to the 1st of January when the Gregorian calendar was introduced. Over the next few centuries, different countries at different times adopted the Gregorian calendar and the January 1st date till it is now widely accepted across the world as the official calendar format, and the 1st of January as the official New Year date.

Why is the New Year important?

There are many reasons why New Year’s Day is important as well as why people always looked forward to the day. Some of the major reasons are discussed subsequently.

It marks the beginning of the New Year

There is something special about the beginning of anything. It is the start of something that even though the future might not be obvious, but at the least, the beginning brings hope that there are chances that that thing that is starting will be successful. The same sentiments apply to the New Year. Individuals are happy that they have crossed to the beginning of another year, and hence, see it as an opportunity to start some things that they have been reluctant to start. They also see it as an opportunity to be a better person, hence the New Year New Me slogan and new year resolutions.

It is the day after the end of the previous year

People always have goals and resolutions they hope to complete during the year. They start pursuing such dreams at the beginning of the year. The New Year marks the day after their deadline for achieving those goals and resolutions, such as losing weight. . Hence, it is a day to celebrate the successes of the previous year, a time to see what went well and wrong in the previous year, as well as a day they can strategize to make things better.


The New Year is a special day because it signifies that a year has just ended and another one has begun. People see it as another opportunity to improve themselves and start things that they have ignored or postponed for too long.

Call to Action

As the New Year is starting, it is important to take some time out from our celebrations to reflect on the previous year and decide what we want to achieve in the New Year. You might need some electronic gadgets or biro and paper to document your thoughts so that you can always refresh your memory about what your plans for the year are.