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Happy New Year 2021: History, importance & why do we celebrate New Year’s on January 1?

Happy New Year 2021: People across the world celebrate this day with fireworks at the stroke of midnight, grand feasts and other fun activities.

Happy New Year 2021Happy New Year 2021 (Source: pixabay/image designed by Gargi Singh)

Happy New Year 2021: New Year’s Day or January 1 marks the beginning of a new calendar year. It is the first day of the year according to the modern Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar.

New Year’s Day was celebrated on January 1 for the first time in 45 BC under the Julian calendar. Later, Pope Gregory acknowledged January 1 as the beginning of the new year as per his reform of the Catholic Liturgical Calendar.

In pre-Christian Rome, the day was dedicated to Janus, the god of gateways and beginnings. The month of January is also named after this god. Liturgically, it also signified the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, which continues to be observed in the Anglican and Lutheran Church. The Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on this day.

People across the world celebrate this day with fireworks at the stroke of midnight, grand feasts, and other fun activities. People also exchange greeting cards to mark the occasion. Among other traditions is making New Year’s resolutions. Parades are held in some countries including London’s New Year’s Day Parade, Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses Parade, and Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade. Prominent sporting events are also held on this day in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Many of you may have also come across a traditional editorial cartoon–an incarnation of Father Time wearing a sash with the previous year printed on it, passing on the duties to the Baby New Year, also wearing a sash with the new year printed on it. Babies born on this day are generally called New Year babies. Some hospitals in the US also give out prizes to the first baby born in the new year.

How are you celebrating New Year’s Day this time?

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First published on: 31-12-2020 at 09:10 IST
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