New Year's Day
New Year's Day falls on January 1 in the United States and is the first day of the new calendar year. However, it is on the eve of the New Year, December 31, that the majority of celebrations
Americans celebrate with parties, special events, parades and football games. The majority of celebrating begins December 31 with a farewell to the year ending and continue throughout the day on January 1 with parades and football games.
The setting of New Year's goals or New Year's resolutions are part of the letting go of the old and the ushering of the new. It is hope of future success spiritually, as well as financially which marks the holiday.
The earliest known record of a New Year's celebration dates from 2000 B.C. in Mesopotamia.
Celebrating the beginning of the new year and the end of an old year is a religious , social, and cultural observance in many countries. New Years is celebrated in many countries besides the United States of America.
It is associated with the calendar which has changed several times during the ages. During the Middle Ages March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, The date Mary, Virgin Mother of God, was told she was carrying the Son of God, was New Year's Day. The Gregorian calendar and the Roman Catholic church chose January 1 as the beginning of the year. However, wherever the Julian Calendar was observed January 14th was New Years. So, the calendar was fundamental in the determination of the new year, as was the Autumnal Equinox, the Winter Solstice, and the appearance of the new moon closest to the spring equinox. Babylonia celebrated the new year when the first moon appeared after the Spring Equinox, usually mid March. Assyria held theirs in late September closest to the Autumnal Equinox and the Greeks chose the winter Solstice December 22 and 23 as their new year.
Rosh Hashanah, "Feast of Trumpets", is the start of the Jewish New Year. It begins on the first day of the month of Tishri, September 6th and lasts for 48 hours. It ushers in ten days of penance. (Tishri lasts from September 6 through October fifth),
Chinese New Year begins in late January or February and lasts one month. Parades and fireworks are part of the festivities.
Japan celebrates January 1 through the 3rd. The entrance to homes are decorated with ropes made of straw to keep out evil spirits. By using fern, bitter orange and lobster to decorate they believe good fortune, prosperity and a long life will be their reward.
In South India, Tamil is celebrated on the Winter Solstice in late December. Pilgrimages and the boiling of new rice are traditions.
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