Why Do We Celebrate New Year on January 1? Facts Revealed!

Several countries worldwide celebrate the new year on January 1. According to the Georgian calendar, New Year’s Eve celebrations start from December 31st and last till the early hours of 1st January. People enjoy the eve by eating special foods, attending parties, watching firework displays and making new year’s resolutions.

But 1 January was not a new year’s celebration date in ancient times. For centuries, March 25 and December 25 were marked as starting a new year. So, what is the history of January 1 as new year’s celebration day? In other words, why do we celebrate the new year in January 2021? We celebrate the new year in January 2021 because this date originated from ancient Roman culture. Firstly, a Roman calendar was revised and ended in Julian’s calendar. Julian’s calendar had transformed and become the Georgian calendar, according to which we celebrate the new year on 1 January.

In this post, you’ll find when did January 1 become New Year’s Day, the purpose of New Year’s Day, and New Year’s traditions. Let’s dive into history to know the facts.

What is the Purpose of New Years’ Day?

happy new year

The purpose of new years’ day is to welcome a new beginning and to remember the last year’s achievements and failures. People make new year’s resolutions and become more serious about life in the coming years.

Most people have a religious belief that if they welcome a new year happily, it will bring more wellness and prosperity for them. In fact, it is a series of celebrations when you have just enjoyed Christmas; the holiday season allows you to spend more time with your family. Kids celebrate this occasion by wearing new dresses and enjoying New year’s eve parties. Moreover, family get-togethers allow you to create unforgettable memories. 

When Did January 1 Become New Year’s Day?


The current new year’s celebrations have been originated from ancient Roman culture. In eighteenth-century B.C, the founder of Rome, Romulus, created a Roman calendar consisting of 305 days and 10 months. Later, king Noma Pompilius revised that calendar and added the months of Januarius and Februarius. At that time, March was the starting month of the new year. Until 153 BCE, the new year was celebrated in March instead of January.

Later, it was found that the calendar failed to sync with the sun. Hence, Julius Caesar, the emperor of that time, consulted mathematicians and astronomers and introduced the Julian calendar. In Julian’s calendar, 1 January was the first day of the new year, and it resembled the Georgian calendar that we follow today.

The 5th century CE was the fall of Rome. Therefore, Christians altered the calendar and introduced religious days such as Christmas (25 December) and the feast of Annunciation (25 March) for starting a new year. Later, it was realized that Julian’s calendar had an error of leap year calculation. Due to that error, major events like Easter took place in the wrong season.

Finally, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII solved the issue of leap years and introduced a Georgian calendar with the new year starting on January 1.

When Did New Year Change from March to January?

After going through the complete history of the New year, you might wonder when the new year changed from March to January? So, the short answer is initially, the new year changed from March to January in 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII introduced the edited version of Julian’s calendar.

Unfortunately, until 1752, orthodox nations and protestants, including the Great Britain and their American colonies, didn’t accept the Georgian calendar, and they kept celebrating the new year on 25 March. However, many countries, including France, Italy, and Spain, start following the Georgian calendar right after its introduction.

New Year’s Day Traditions


The New Year’s celebrations start on the evening of 31 December and last until the early hours of 1 January. Different countries worldwide have their own traditions and celebration customs. People plan their lives and make new year’s resolutions. Some want to quit smoking, while others like to lose weight. Fireworks and singing welcome songs are also a part of new year celebrations.

Let’s have a look at worldwide new year’s traditions.

  • A giant ball is dropped at New York City’s Times Square in the U.S at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Different American states have their own tradition of throwing items as a ritual.
  • In Spain, people drop grapes to symbolize their hopes for the coming year.
  • In Italy, special traditional dishes are made from lentils because they believe that lentils resemble coins and will give them financial success in the future. 

Final Thoughts

We celebrate the new year on January 1 since it is originated from ancient Roman culture. After many corrections and revisions, the Georgian calendar was introduced, according to which we celebrate the new year on January 1. However, there are still many countries that don’t follow a Georgeon calendar.

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