New Year's Day is the first day of the year. It celebrates both the successes of the past year and the hopes for the coming year.
When is New Year's Day celebrated?
The start of the year is celebrated on January 1st. This is per the Gregorian calendar used by much of the world. The end of the previous year, New Year's Eve, is celebrated on December 31st.
Who celebrates this day?
This day is celebrated around the world. It is a national holiday in the United States.
What do people do to celebrate?
The celebration starts out the night before on New Year's Eve. This night is a night of parties and fireworks. There are large gatherings such as the dropping of the ball at Times Square in New York City. Many people have parties with their friends where they will count down to the New Year.
New Year's Day is a holiday which most people have off of work and school. A big part of the day is college football Bowl games as well as parades. One of the most famous parades in the United States is the Rose Parade in California which leads up to the Rose Bowl Football game in Pasadena.
Another tradition for this day is to make New Year's Resolutions. These are promises to yourself on how you will do something different or better in the coming year. This often includes dieting, exercise, quitting a bad habit, or getting better grades in school.
History of New Year's Day
The first day of the start of a new year has been celebrated by countries and cultures around the world for thousands of years. Different countries and cultures use different calendars and have different starts to the year.
In the United States we use the Gregorian calendar. This calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory VIII in 1582. Since then much of the western world has celebrated January 1 as the start of the new year.
Fun Facts About New Year's Day
- Many countries including France, Germany, Italy, and Austria call New Year's Eve "Silvester" in honor of Pope Sylvester I who died on December 31st.
- The National Hockey League often plays an outdoor hockey game called the Winter Classic on this day.
- In Canada some people take a plunge into the ice cold water called the Polar Bear Plunge to celebrate the day.
- In the United States people eat black eye peas, cabbage, and ham on New Year's Eve for good luck. Round foods, like doughnuts, are considered good luck in some cultures.
- The song Auld Lang Syne is the traditional song sung at midnight when the new year begins. It means "old long ago". The words come from a poem written by Robert Burns.
- The "ball" that drops in Times Square weighs 1000 pounds and is made from Waterford Crystal. It has over 9,000 LED lights to light it up. About 1 billion people watch the ball drop on television.
- This holiday was celebrated as far back as 4500 years ago in the city of Babylon.
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