New Year is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar’s year count increments by one.
Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner and the 1st day of January is often marked as a national holiday.
In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system today, New Year occurs on 1 January (New Year’s Day). This was also the case both in the old Roman calendar (at least after about 713 BCE) and in the Julian calendar that succeeded it.
Other calendars have been used historically in different parts of the world; some calendars count years numerically, while others do not.
During the Middle Ages in western Europe, while the Julian calendar was still in use, authorities moved New Year’s Day variously, depending upon locale, to one of several other days, among them: 1 March, 25 March, Easter, 1 September, and 25 December. Beginning in 1582, the adoptions of the Gregorian calendar and changes to the Old Style and New Style datesmeant the various local dates for New Year’s Day changed to using one fixed date, January 1.
The widespread official adoption of the Gregorian calendar and marking January 1 as the beginning of a new year is almost global now. Regional or local use of other calendars continue, along with the cultural and religious practices that accompany them. In Latin America, various native cultures continue the observation of traditions according to their own calendars. Israel, China, India and other countries, continue to celebrate New Year on different dates.
The most common dates of modern New Year’s celebrations are listed below, ordered and grouped by their alignment relative to the Gregorian calendar.