New Year's Day Celebrations

New Year's Day Celebrations

The New Year celebrations begin with the end of Christmas celebrations. The festive spirit sets in towards mid December.

It is believed that the tradition of New Year celebration began in ancient Babylon almost 4000 years ago.  The Babylonians observed New Year on the day of the new moon after Vernal Equinox- understandable as the spring season signifies rebirth. January 1st was accepted as the New Year when the Romans, in 153 BC, set the trend. In the early centuries after His crucifixion, the Church refused to observe New Year celebration, declaring it as a heathen custom. But slowly during the Middle Ages, the tradition spread.

Early customs of celebrating the New Year by making resolutions is attributed to the Babylonians. The Greeks’ custom was to celebrate New Year with a baby which tradition was carried on by the Church, as the coming of Baby Jesus. Even now the New Year Day symbolises the circumcision of Baby Jesus, on the seventh day after His birth. It was believed that people could influence luck by doing good things in the first few minutes of the New Year. So the tradition was to spend the New Year with family, eating foods ring like in shape. In the USA, New Year celebrations are held with family and friends, eating rice, ham, cabbage and black eye peas- food items that are said to bring prosperity. The Rose Bowl football game is a part of New Year festivities in the USA.

In India, people welcome the January 1st with family and friends partying, eating sweetmeats and visiting religious places to offer worship, hoping for peace and prosperity. The New Year or the Nav Varsh or Naya Saal falls in March, April or May according to the lunar calendar in different parts of India.

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