- In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the civil New Year 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 1, 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 1. The orthodox churches of Georgia, Jerusalem, Russia, Macedonia 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, about four to eight weeks before 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 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 20 March.
- The Zoroastrian New Year coincides with the Iranian New Year of Norouz. It is celebrated by the Parsis in India and by Zoroastrians and Persians across the world.
- In the Bahá’í calendar, the new year occurs on the vernal equinox on 21 March, and is called Naw-Rúz.
- In the Saka Calendar (Balinese-Javanese Calendar) the celebration of new year falls on 30rd of March in this year. the celebration gather of Nyepi, Balinese Hindu holiday.
- 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.
- Sindhi festival of Cheti Chand is celebrated on the same day as Ugadi/Gudi Padwa to mark the celebration of the Sindhi New Year.
- The Thelemic new year on March 20 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, which ends at the third day of the writing of The Book of the Law. This date is also known as The Feast of the Supreme Ritual. There are some that believe the Thelemic New Year falls on either 19,20,21 March, depending on the Vernal Equinox, this is The Feast for the Equinox of the Gods which is held on the Vernal Equinox of each year to commemorate the founding of Thelema in 1904. In 1904 the Vernal Equinox was on a 21st and it was the day after Aleister Crowley ended his Horus Invocation that brought on the new Æon and thelemic New Year.
- The Nepali new year is celebrated in spring, on the first day of the lunar month Baisakh. In the English calender, it usually falls between 12 – 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 (புத்தாண்டு)” 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 (சித்திரை), 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. In some parts of Karnataka, New year may be celebrated on this day, although it is most commonly celebrated on the day of Gudi Padwa, the Maharashtrian new year as well.
- Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew for ‘head of the year’) is a holiday commemorating the culmination of the seven days of Creation, and marking God’s yearly renewal of His world. The day has elements of festivity and introspection, as God is traditionally believed to be assessing His creation and determining the fate of all men and creatures for the coming year.
- 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 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.
Liturgical new year
On the Catholic liturgical calendar used by the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church (and other churches descended from it such as the Anglican and Lutheran Churches) the new liturgical year begins at 4pm on the Saturday preceding the fourth Sunday prior to December 25.
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 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).
Adoption of 1 January as beginning of year
It took quite a long time before the adoption of the 1 January as the start of the year became widespread. The years of adoption are as follows –
- 1522 Venice
- 1544 Holy Roman Empire (Germany)
- 1556 Spain, Portugal
- 1559 Prussia, Denmark/Norway, Sweden
- 1564 France
- 1576 Southern Netherlands
- 1579 Lorraine
- 1583 Protestant (northern) Netherlands
- 1600 Scotland
- 1700 Russia
- 1721 Tuscany
- 1752 Britain and its colonies
1 March was the first day of the numbered year in the Republic of Venice until its destruction in 1797, and in Russia from 988 until 1492 (AM 7000). 1 September was used in Russia from 1492 until the adoption of the Christian era in 1700 via a December 1699 decree of Tsar Peter I (previously, Russia had counted years since the creation of the world—Anno Mundi).
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 is just west of the International Date Line. At that time the time zone to the east of the Date Line is 23 hours behind, still in the previous day. The central Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati claims that its easternmost landmass, uninhabited Caroline Island, is the first to usher in the New Year.