The Christmas melodies in our shopping malls remind us of the approaching holidays and the rapidly approaching New Year. New thoughts, ideas and plans pop into our heads. We ask: how are we going to celebrate Christmas this year?, what gifts do we have to buy?, and of course how are we going to celebrate the arrival of the New Year? Another year of promise and hope has arrived.
The thought of another New Year at our door step brings thoughts of apprehension. This year has only just started and the next one is already upon us. How does this happen? Each year seems to arrive so much sooner. Is it also bringing old age sooner? What a thought!
So, where did the “New Year” really come from?
Well, New Year’s Day is the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, falling exactly one week after Christmas Day of the previous year. In modern times, it is January 1 and in most countries it is a holiday. It is a holy day to many of those who still use the Julian calendar, which includes followers of some of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and is celebrated on January 14 of the Gregorian calendar due to differences between the two calendars.get more updates about happy new year 2018 here.
New Year was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. The Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring). The Babylonians celebrated New Year for eleven days: each day with a particular mode of celebration. It is probably safe to say the Babylonian celebration was a far greater event than modern New Year’s festivities.
The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays. In all countries that use the Gregorian calendar, with the exception of Israel, New Year’s Day is a public holiday. It is traditionally celebrated on the night of December 31, called New Year’s Eve. It is celebrated with fireworks, from London at 0:00 to America, at 0:00.
Because the globe is divided into time zones, the New Year is celebrated progressively around the globe. The first time zone that ushers in the New Year is just west of the International Date Line. At that time the time zone to the east of the Date Line is 23 hours behind, still in the previous day. The residents on the central Pacific Ocean island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island), the eastern-most island in the island nation of Kiribati claim to be the first to usher in the New Year.
January 1 marks the end of a period of remembrance of a particular passing year, and ushers in new promises, new hopes and many New Year’s resolutions.