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New Year

The New Year is an event that happens when a culture celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Cultures that measure yearly calendars all have New Year celebrations.

The most common modern celebrations are:

January 1 : Western cultures that start a year with January.

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew for 'head of the year') is a celebration that is 163 days before Pesach (Passover) (See Hebrew Calendar). In the Gregorian calendar at present, Rosh Hashanah cannot occur before September 5, 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 September 6. Rosh Hashanah cannot occur later than October 5, when it occurred in 1967 and will again occur in 2043.

In the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church started its ecclesiastic year on a principal Christian feast, like Easter or Christmas. This was followed by many European administrations. Since the 17th century, the Catholic ecclesiastic year has started on the first day of Advent.

The ancient Roman calendar had only ten months and started the year on March 25, which is still reflected in the names of some months which derive from Roman numerals: September (Seventh), October (Eighth), November (Ninth), December (Tenth). Around 715 BC the months of January, February and Mercedony were added. The first month was named after Janus, the two-faced (forward and backward looking) god of gates and transitions in general. Mercedony was a leap month which was used when needed. As part of a calendar reform in 46 BC, Julius Caesar dropped Mercedony and decreed that the New Year should start at the beginning of January instead.

In England the new year did not legally change from the twenty-fifth of March to the first of January until 1752, although for a long time before this it was common practice to treat the January 1 as the start of the year.

The Chinese New Year is generally celebrated with fire-crackers, and in some places with a parade. It falls at a new moon during the (Chinese) winter, i.e. the end of January or beginning of February.

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.

The Thai New Year is celebrated from April 13 to April 15 by throwing water.

The Vietnamese New Year is the TÍt Nguyen Dan. It it celebrated on the same day as Chinese New Year.

See also