New Year

New Year is the time or day at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increments by one.In the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar system today, New Year occurs on January 1 (New Year's Day). This was also the case both in the Roman calendar (at least after about 713 BC) and in the Julian calendar that succeeded it.

During the Middle Ages in western Europe, while the Julian calendar was still in use, authorities moved New Year's Day, depending upon locale, to one of several other days, including March 1, March 25, Easter, September 1, and December 25. Beginning in 1582, the adoptions of the Gregorian calendar and changes to the Old Style and New Style dates meant the various local dates for New Year's Day changed to using one fixed date, January 1.

January 1: The first day of the civil year in the Gregorian calendar used by most countries.Contrary to common belief in the west, the civil New Year of January 1 is not an Orthodox Christian religious holiday. The Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar makes no provision for the observance of a New Year. January 1 is itself a religious holiday, but that is because it is the feast of the circumcision of Christ (seven days after His birth), and a commemoration of saints. While the liturgical calendar begins September 1, there is also no particular religious observance attached to the start of the new cycle. Orthodox nations may, however, make civil celebrations for the New Year. 

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, occurs every year on the new moon of the first lunar month, about the beginning of spring (Lichun). The exact date can fall any time between January 21 and February 21 (inclusive) of the Gregorian Calendar.The Korean New Year is a Seollal or Lunar New Year’s Day. Although January 1 is, in fact, the first day of the year, Seollal, the first day of the lunar calendar, is more meaningful for Koreans. The Vietnamese New Year is the Tết Nguyên Đán which most times is the same day as the Chinese New Year due to the Vietnamese using a lunar Calendar similar to the Chinese calendar.

History

The early development of the Christian liturgical year coincided with the Roman Empire (east and west), and later the Byzantine Empire, both of which employed a taxation system labeled the Indiction, the years for which began on September 1. This timing may account for the ancient church's establishment of September 1 as the beginning of the liturgical year, despite the official Roman New Year's Day of January 1 in the Julian calendar, because the indiction was the principal means for counting years in the empires, apart from the reigns of the Emperors.

After the sack of Rome in 410, communications and travel between east and west deteriorated. Liturgical developments in Rome and Constantinople did not always match, although a rigid adherence to form was never mandated in the church. Nevertheless, the principal points of development were maintained between east and west. During those intervening centuries, the Roman Catholic ecclesiastic year was moved to the first day of Advent, the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew's Day (November 30). According to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the liturgical year begins at 4:00 PM on Saturday preceding the fourth Sunday prior to December 25 (between November 26 and December 2).

The present-day Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar is the virtual culmination of the ancient eastern development cycle, though it includes later additions based on subsequent history and lives of saints. It still begins on September 1, proceeding annually into the Nativity of the Theotokos (September 8) and Exaltation of the Cross (September 14) to the celebration of Nativity of Christ (Christmas), through his death and resurrection (Pascha/Easter), to his Ascension and the Dormition of the Theotokos ("falling asleep" of the Virgin Mary, August 15).

During the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire years beginning on the date on which each consul first entered the office. This was probably May 1 before 222 BC, March 15 from 222 BC to 154 BC,and January 1 from 153 BC. In 45 BC, when Julius Caesar's new Julian calendar took effect, the Senate fixed January 1 as the first day of the year. At that time, this was the date on which those who were to hold civil office assumed their official position, and it was also the traditional annual date for the convening of the Roman Senate. 

In England, the Angle, Saxon, and Viking invasions of the fifth through tenth centuries plunged the region back into pre-history for a time.In Modern Styleor Circumcision Style dating, the new year started on January 1

Scotland changed to Modern Style new year dating on January 1, 1600, by Act of (the Scottish) Parliament on December 17, 1599.Despite the unification of the Scottish and English royal crowns with the accession of King James VI and I in 1603, and even the union of the kingdoms themselves in 1707 (producing the United Kingdom), England continued using March 25 until after Parliament passed the Calendar (New Style) Act of 1750. 

Time zones

Because of the division of the globe into time zones, the new year moves progressively around the globe as the start of the day ushers in the New Year. The first time zone to usher in the New Year, just west of the International Date Line, is located in the Line Islands, a part of the nation of Kiribati, and has a time zone 14 hours ahead of UTC.All other time zones are 1 to 25 hours behind, most in the previous day (December 31); on American Samoa and Midway, it is still 11 PM on December 30. These are among the last inhabited places to observe New Year. However, uninhabited outlying U.S. territories Howland Island and Baker Island are designated as lying within the time zone 12 hours behind UTC, the last places on earth to see the arrival of January 1. These small coral islands are found about midway between Hawaii and Australia, about 1,000 miles west of the Line Islands. 

 

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