When is New Year’s Eve 2023? Here’s what you should know.
The countdown to the new year practically begins with the end of the previous one. On January 1st of every year, people ring in the New Year with resolutions for change and parties of good times.
But why do we celebrate New Year’s Eve and how did the holiday come about? The current state of champagne toasts and midnight kisses hasn’t always been how New Year’s Eve was celebrated.
So here is what you need to know about New Year’s Eve 2023 and learn more about its origins, traditions and celebrations.
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When is New Year’s Eve 2023?
New Year’s Day is Sunday January 1st, 2023. As it falls on a Sunday, the public holiday of New Year’s Day is Monday January 2nd, 2023.
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New Year’s Eve is Saturday, December 31, 2022.
Why does the new year start on January 1st?
New Year celebrations date back thousands of years to ancient Babylon, where the first new moon after the vernal equinox marked the beginning of a new year. The festival of “Akitu” lasted 11 days, each with a different ritual.
The Roman calendar followed a similar format, with its new year occurring on the vernal equinox and having 10 months and 304 days in the year, according to History.com. The months of Januarius and Februaryius were later added thanks to King Numa Pompilius.
In the year 46 BC In 2000 BC, Emperor Julius Caesar introduced a new Julian calendar, introducing January 1 as the beginning of the new year and adopting the namesake of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. Roman New Year celebrations included exchanging gifts, making offerings to Janus, decorating houses with laurel branches, and attending parties.
According to Britannica, the New Year’s date changed for several years as Christian leaders in Europe moved the first of the year to December 25 and March 25. When the Gregorian calendar was introduced by the Catholic Church in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII. January 1st as New Year’s Day.
However, many cultures and religions celebrate New Year’s Eve on different days. For example, the New Year in the Jewish religious calendar is marked on Rosh Hashanah, which occurs between September and October, depending on the year. Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, is celebrated for a month, usually beginning in late January or early February.
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New Year celebrations, traditions explained
Modern New Year’s Eve celebrations often begin New Year’s Eve on December 31st. In the US, the tradition of the Times Square Ball Drop counts until midnight, or the official start of the New Year on January 1st.
The first New Year’s Ball Drop took place in 1907 with the first incarnation made of iron and wood, measuring 5 feet in diameter and weighing 700 pounds and adorned with 100 lightbulbs. The current ball is 12 feet in diameter and weighs nearly 12,000 pounds, according to the official Times Square website.
Making New Year’s resolutions has been a tradition for centuries. It dates back to the ancient Babylonians who made promises to the gods to start the year off right. People still make promises these days, but instead of promising themselves, they generally promise to kick a habit, get in shape, or learn a new skill.
Other ways people ring in the New Year are by partying with loved ones, watching fireworks, toasting champagne, singing songs like “Auld Lang Syne” or sharing a New Year’s kiss at midnight.
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