Saturday, January 6, 2007
The New Year is an event that happens when a culture celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of the next year. Cultures that measure yearly calendars all have New Year celebrations.
The most common modern dates of celebration are listed below, ordered and grouped by their appearance relative to the conventional Western calendar.
1 January: The first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar used by most countries.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the civil New Year (also celebrating the infant Jesus' circumcision) falls on 14 January (1 January in the Julian Calendar). Many in the countries where Eastern Orthodoxy predominates celebrate both the Gregorian and Julian New Year holidays, with the Gregorian day celebrated as a civic holiday, and the Julian date as the "Old New Year", a religious holiday. The Church's own liturgical calendar begins on September 1st thereby proceeding annually from the celebration of Jesus' birth in the winter (Christmas) through his death and resurrection in the spring (Pascha / Easter), to his Ascension in the summer, and the assumption of his mother (Dormition of the Theotokos / Virgin Mary) in the fall.
Note: Eight of the twelve biggest Eastern Orthodox Churches have adopted the Revised Julian calendar administratively and the civic and religious holidays match. The orthodox population of Bulgaria, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Poland, Romania, Syria and Turkey celebrate the New Year on January 1st. The orthodox churches of Georgia, Jerusalem, Russia and Serbia still use the Julian Calendar.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, occurs every year on the new moon of the first lunar month, around the beginning of spring (Lichun). The exact date can fall anytime between 21 January and 21 February (inclusive) of the Gregorian Calendar. Because the lunisolar Chinese calendar is astronomically defined, unlike the Gregorian Calendar, the drift of the seasons will change the range. Each year is symbolized by one of 12 animals and one of five elements, with the combinations of animals and elements (or stems) cycling every 60 years. It is the most important Chinese holiday of the year.
The Vietnamese New Year is the Tết Nguyên Đán which is for most times the same day as the Chinese New Year.
The Tibetan New Year is Losar and falls from January through March.
Hola Mohalla, New Year's Day in the Sikh Nanakshahi calendar is on March 14.
The Iranian New Year, called Norouz, is the day containing the exact moment of the vernal equinox, commencing the start of the spring season. In 2007 this falls on the 20th of March.
The Zoroastrian New Year coincides with the Iranian New Year of Norouz. It is celebrated by the Parsis in India and Zoroastrians across the world.
In the Bahá'í calendar, the new year occurs on the vernal equinox on 21 March, and is called Naw-Rúz.
The Telugu New Year generally falls in the months of March or April. The people of Andhra Pradesh, India celebrate the advent of Lunar year this day. This day is celebrated across entire Andhra Pradesh as UGADI(Meaning the Start of a new Year.).The first month is Chaitra Masam. Masam means month.
Gudi Padwa is celebrated as the first day of the Hindu year by the people of Maharashtra, India. This day falls in March or April and coincides with Ugadi. (see: Deccan)
The Kannada New Year or Ugadi is celebrated by the people of Karnataka, India as the beginning of a new year according to the Hindu Calendar. The first month of the new Year is Chaitra.
The Assyrian New Year, called Rish Nissanu, occurs on 1 April
The Punjabi new year Vaisakhi is celebrated on 13 April and celebrates the harvest.
The Thai New Year is celebrated from 13 April to 15 April by throwing water.
The Cambodian New Year and Lao New Year are celebrated from 13 April to 15 April.
The Bengali New Year Pohela Baisakh is celebrated on 14 April or 15 April in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West Bengal, India.
The Sinhalese New Year falls In April (the month of Bak) when the sun moves from the Meena Rashiya (House of Pisces) to the Mesha Rashiya (House of Aries) Sri Lankans begin celebrating their National New Year "Aluth Avurudhu" in Sinhala and "Puththandu" in Tamil. However, unlike the usual practice where the new year begins at midnight, the National New Year begins at the time determined by the astrologers. Not only the beginning of the new year but the conclusion of the old year is also specified by the astrologers. And unlike the customary ending and beginning of new year, there is a period of a few hours in between the conclusion of the Old Year and the commencement of the New Year , which is called the "nona gathe" (neutral period). During this time one is expected to keep off from all types of work and engage solely in religious activities.
In India, the Tamil New Year and Vishu are celebrated on the same day respectively in the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They generally fall on 13 April or 14 April. The first month of the Tamil New Year is called Chithrai. Every year in the month of Chithrai, in the temple city of Madurai, the Chithrai Thiruvizha is celebrated in the Meenakshi Temple. A huge exhibition is also held, called Chithrai Porutkaatchi. In some parts of Southern Tamil Nadu, it is also called Chithrai Vishu. The day is marked with a feast in Hindu homes and the entrance to the houses are decorated elaborately with kolams.
Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew for 'head of the year') is a celebration that occurs 163 days following Pesach (Passover). In the Gregorian calendar at present, Rosh Hashanah cannot occur before 5 September, when it occurred in 1899 and will occur again in 2013. After the year 2089, the differences between the Hebrew Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar will force Rosh Hashanah to be not earlier than 6 September. Rosh Hashanah cannot occur later than 5 October, when it occurred in 1967 and will again occur in 2043. See Hebrew Calendar.
In the Coptic Orthodox Church, the New Year, called Neyrouz, coincides with 11 September in the Gregorian calendar between 1900 and 2099, with the exception of the year before Gregorian leap years, when Neyrouz occurs on 12 September). The Coptic year 1723 began in September 2005. The Ethiopian Orthodox New Year, called Enkutatash, falls on the same date as Neyrouz; the Ethiopian calendar year 1999 thus began on September 11, 2006.
The Marwari New Year is celebrated on the day of the festival of Diwali
The Gujarati New Year is usually celebrated the day after the festival of Diwali (which occurs in mid-fall - either October or November, depending on the Lunar calendar). The Gujarati New Year is synonymous with sud ekam of the Kartik month - the first day of the first month of Gujarati lunar calendar. Most other Hindus celebrate the New Year in early spring, but the Gujarati farming community celebrates the New Year after Diwali to mark the beginning of a new fiscal year.
Some neo-pagans celebrate Samhain (a festival of the ancient Celts, held around November 1) as a new year's day representing the new cycle of the Wheel of the Year, although they do not use a different calendar that starts on this day.
The Islamic New Year occurs on 1 Muharram. Since the Muslim calendar is based on 12 lunar months amounting to about 354 days, the Gregorian date of this is about eleven days earlier each year. 2008 will see two Muslim New Years.
The Thelemic new year is usually celebrated with an invocation to Ra-Hoor-Khuit, commemorating the beginning of the New Aeon in 1904. It also marks the start of the twenty two day Thelemic holy season. And a piece of shit for some people.
Historical dates for the new year
The ancient Roman calendar had only ten months and started the year on 1 March, which is still reflected in the names of some months which derive from Latin: September (seventh), October (eighth), November (ninth), December (tenth). Around 713 BC the months of January and February were added to the year, traditionally by the second king, Numa Pompilius, along with the leap month Intercalaris. The year used in dates was the consular year, which began on the day when consuls first entered office — fixed by law at 15 March in 222 BC, but this event was moved to 1 January in 153 BC. In 45 BC, Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar, dropping Intercalaris; however, 1 January continued to be the first day of the new year.
In the Middle Ages in Europe a number of significant feast days in the ecclesiastical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church came to be used as the beginning of the Julian year:
In Christmas Style dating the new year started on 25 December. This was used in Germany and England until the thirteenth century, and in Spain from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century.
In Annunciation Style dating the new year started on 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation. This was used in many parts of Europe in the Middle Ages, and was the style introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in AD 525. Annunciation Style continued to be used in the Kingdom of Great Britain until January 1, 1752, except Scotland which changed to Circumcision Style dating on 1 January 1600. The rest of Great Britain changed to Circumcision Style on the 1 January preceding the conversion in Great Britain from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar on 3/14 September 1752. The UK tax year still starts on 6 April which is 25 March + 12 days, eleven for the conversion from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar plus a dropped leap day in 1900.
In Easter Style dating, the new year started on Easter Saturday (or sometimes on Good Friday). This was used in France from the eleventh to the sixteenth century. A disadvantage of this system was that because Easter was a movable feast the same date could occur twice in a year; the two occurrences were distinguished as "before Easter" and "after Easter".
In Circumcision Style dating, the new year started on 1 January, the Feast of the Circumcision (of Jesus).
The ancient Roman new year of 1 March was used in the Republic of Venice until its destruction in 1797, and in Russia from 988 until the end of the fifteenth century. 1 September was used in Russia from the end of the fifteenth century until the adoption of the Christian era in 1700 (previously, Russia had counted years since the creation of the world).
Since the seventeenth century, the Roman Catholic ecclesiastic year has started on the first day of Advent, the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew's Day (30 November).
Autumnal equinox day (usually 22 September) is "New Year's Day" in the French Republican Calendar, which was in use from 1793 to 1805. This was primidi Vendemière, the first day of the first month.
April Fool's Day probably has its origin with a pre-Gregorian new year celebration which went from the spring equinox to April 1. When the new calendar, starting on January 1, replaced it, people who continued to celebrate the traditional New Year were, apparently, mocked and teased, the subject of various humorous harassment.
If you want to be where the new year arrives first each year, make your way to Kiribati, Christmas Islands, where January 1 (and every other day, too) arrives 14 hours earlier than at Greenwich, England.
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