About New Year
Year's Day is the first day of the calendar year. It is celebrated as a
holiday in almost every country in the world. It is a time of gaiety,
sharing with friends, remembering the past, and hoping for good things
in the future.
the United States, thousands of people jam Times Square in New York
City to welcome the New Year at midnight. The transition between New
Year's Eve and New Year's Day is an exciting one. In Times Square,
people countdown the seconds to welcome the new day as the New Year
ball slowly descends and lights up the area.
all countries or cultures celebrate New Year on January 1st. The
Chinese, Egyptian, Jewish, Roman, and Mohammedan years all have
different start dates. Chinese New Year starts on a different day each
year. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians celebrated their New Year
about the middle of June. That was the time when the Nile River usually
overflowed. January 1 is became recognized as New Year's Day in the
1500's when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced. The Julian Calendar
places the New Year on January 14. The Jewish New Year, a feast day, is
celebrated about the time of the fall equinox, in late September.
ancient Rome, the first day of the New Year honored Janus - the god of
gates and doors and beginnings and endings. The month of January was
named after this god. Janus had two faces. One looked ahead to see what
the new year will bring and the other looked backward to see what
happened during the past year. So this is how the Romans celebrated.
They also gave their friends gifts. Often gifts were given to Senators
in exchange for favors.
In England, Druid priests
celebrated their New Years on March 10. They gave branches of mistletoe
to people for charms. Later, English people followed the custom of
cleaning their chimneys on New Year's Day. The English believed this
brought good luck to the household for the coming year. The expression
"cleaning the slate" came from this custom. It means making resolutions
to correct faults and bad habits. People resolve to make themselves
better in the New Year. It is still custom today to make a list of