On this day 1st Jan New year day

On this day 1st Jan New year day

When is the day of the year?

This year (2018) on January 1st (Monday)
Next year (2019) January 1st (Tuesday)

New Year’s history

Over the last 4000 years, human civilizations around the world have recognized the arrival of a new year. The Babylonians had the oldest records of New Year’s Day, although theirs did not take place on January 1st. The New Year was held after the spring equinox – which is seen by many as the arrival of spring between March 20 and 23. The Babylonians would mark this day with a festival called Akitu – a religious festival commemorating the spring harvests. The name of this festival, Akitu, actually means “barley” in Sumerian. This ritual would take place over eleven days and begin with a recitation of prayers to the public. This is because this day has actually served three functions at a time. He not only celebrated the beginning of the New Year and the victory of the mythical god Marduk over the primordial goddess of the sea, Tiamat, but also the day a new king was crowned.

Over the years, different civilizations have observed the New Year in different ways and at different dates. The Egyptians would begin their new year when the annual flooding of the Nile would occur. In Persia, the New Year was observed 13 days after the beginning of the vernal equinox. In China, it was observed during the second new moon after the arrival of the winter solstice. It is only in 46 BC. AD Julius Caesar decides that New Year’s Day should fall on January 1st. It is thought that it was conceived in this way, for January is named after the god Janus, who is the god of new beginnings. In the centuries following the murder of Caesar, January 1 alternated holidays and non-holidays. In 567, the Council of Tours decided that the 1st of January would not be the New Year’s Day. It was decided to celebrate it on the 25th of December. In the 7th century, it was briefly restored before being interrupted again. It is only when the Gregorian calendar is adopted in the sixteenth century that it will be permanently restored.

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