Many countries celebrate New Years Day at different times of the calendar year. The definition of New Years is the custom of celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another. It marks the closing and the start of a measurement of daily time in a period of one rotation of the earth around the sun.
A calender year for modern day time, in the western world, was first started by the Romans in 713 BC. However, they used a ten month rotation. The first official start date was moved to January 1 in 153 BC. Julius Caesar moved the calender to 12 full months in 53 BC. It was called the Julian Calendar
The oldest known measurement of a calender year was by the Mayans.
The custom of New Years is different to different nations and even religions. The Christan Liturgical or Ecclesiastical Calendar starts with Advent. It is a cycle of dates that even has movable dates like Easter for church celebrations. It starts four Sundays before Christmas. It is kept separate from the governmental Calendar.
The Eastern Orthodox Church starts their Civil New Years on January 14th. Their Liturgical calendar begins on September 1.
The Chinese New Year is also referred to as the Lunar New Year. It can start anywhere between January 21 and February 21. It depends on when the first new moon of the month begins during the first lunar month. It is astronomically defined. Each Chinese year is symbolized by one of twelve animals and one of the five elements. These combinations cycle once every 60 years. The twelve animals are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and the Pig. The five elements are rotated every two years with the addition of yin and yang. The five elements are wood, fire, water, metal, and earth.
The Iranian New Year begins with the vemal equinox (spring). In 2007, it was on March 20th. The Assyrian New Year begins on April 1. The Punjabi begins on April 13th. The Thai and Cambodian begin their New Years between April 13th and 15th.
The Islamic New Year is somewhat confusing. It is based on 12 lunar months. The start date is about 11 days earlier each year. In 2008, they will have two New Years with the 12 month Gregorian Calendar.
The Gregorian Calendar is our actual modern day Calendar that is commonly accepted. It is an improvement over the Julian calendar. It was named after Pope Gregory the 13th. It was started in 1582. It used the initials of AD and CE. CE stands for Christan Era and AD stands for the Annunciation of the birth of Jesus to Mary.
In the modern Western World, it took quite sometime to get one particular start day of a Calendar year. It took from 1522 to 1752 for the date of January 1st to be recognized as the official date for New Years.
There are many different customs with the start of the New Year. Many regard it as a Holy Day for different religions. However, in almost every country and nation, it is a day of celebration. People party and happily look at the exchange of years.
In America, one of the largest celebrations is in Times Square in New York. Preparations begin months in advance for this event. It is broadcast over radio and television live. A countdown begins as the ball makes it descent to mark the beginning of a New Year. The ball has been lowered every year since 1907 with the exception of two years during World War II. A new ball will be used this year.
The celebration of New Year’s is the only event that is truly global.