What is the Meaning of New Year’s ?

Here in North America, we’re all familiar with what happens in the few hours before the end of December 31st. New Year’s celebrations are typically underway, and a few seconds before midnight rolls around, we all do the big countdown.

While we all know that New Year’s involves leaving the old year behind and looking forward to a brand new year, do you know the true meaning of New Year’s?

The History of New Year’s

New Year’s Day – which is January 1st as per the modern Gregorian calendar – is the ritualistic marking of the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, when Jesus was circumcised eight days after being born, as is tradition in the Jewish religion. Today, most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their de facto calendar. New Year’s Day is among the most celebrated holidays across the globe, with enthusiastic celebrations taking place at the stroke of midnight.

New Year’s Day is traditionally a religious feast, but ever since the 1900s, it’s become a festive time to celebrate the eve of December 31st, otherwise known as New Year’s Eve. Typically, fireworks take place at midnight the moment the new year arrives.

Many countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1st as New Year’s Day before they even adopted the Gregorian Calendar. In England, for instance, the first day of the new year was on March 25th, when the Catholic Feast of the Annunciation took place. This occurred until 1752 when the Gregorian Calendar was adopted.

Dates declared on the year starting on March 25th became known as Annunciation Style dates, while dates of the Gregorian Calendar starting on January 1st were declared as Circumcision Style dates. Pope Gregory christened January 1st as the start of the new year as per his reform of the Catholic Liturgical Calendar.

How Do Other Countries Celebrate New Year’s?

New Year’s celebrations vary somewhat across the nations. For instance, in London, thousands of people gather along the River Thames to watch fireworks around the London Eye, and when Big Ben strikes twelve, New Year’s officially starts.

In Greece and Cyprus, people turn off the lights at midnight and celebrate by cutting the vassilopita (Basil’s pie). Within this pie is a coin, and whoever wins it can expect good luck for the entire year. Following the pie, people play the traditional game of cards called triantaena.

In the Philippines, New Year’s is considered a part of the Christmas holiday. New Year’s Eve comes with noisemakers in an effort to ward off evil spirits and prevent them from bringing bad luck to the new year.

In Russia, the celebration of ‘Novi God’ comes with fireworks and champagne. Since religion was suppressed in the Soviet Union, New Year’s took on many traits of Christmas, including Christmas trees, and ’Ded Moroz’ (a variation of Santa Claus).

In Canada and the United States, it’s traditional to spend time with loved ones. After midnight strikes, a toast is made to the new year, with songs, kisses, fireworks and parties taking place.

However way you spend New Year’s Eve and Day, it’s always a nice gesture to adorn your loved ones with gifts to commemorate the promise of a new year. And at CanadasGiftBaskets.ca, we’ve got a host of festive New Year’s gift baskets for you to choose from. Get a head start on your holiday gift shopping and visit CanadasGiftBaskets.ca today!

By | November 10, 2015 9:48 am | | 0 Comments

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