Date and Origin of New Year's Day

New Year's Day Dates in 2024, 2025 and 2026

New Year's Day is observed at the following dates:

New years day falls on January 1st every year, immediately following New Year's eve on December 31.

It is the first day of the first month on the standard Gregorian and Julian Calendar and celebrates the beginning of a new year. On this date, many people hail in the New Year with resolutions involving commitments of self-improvement1.


New years celebrations are believed to have taken place in Mesopotamia (current day Iraq) as early as 2000 B.C.2. Originally celebrated on the vernal equinox, that is, March 212, New year's has been its current date, January 1st, since 45 B.C., when Julius Cesar reformed the roman calendar3. Due to an error in calculations, the Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in 1582, which is still in use today3.

January 1 was chosen to coincide with the feast of the circumcision and naming of Jesus4and also coincided with the elections to consul in the Roman Empire2. There is a tradition of a ball being dropped in Times Square, New York City that has been upheld since 1907, when a young immigrant metal worker named Jacob Starr built the ball out of wood and steel, adorning it with one hundred 25-watt lights5. Though the design has since changed, the tradition remains the same.


New Year's day is a public holiday in the United States, meaning that government offices, schools and many businesses are closed6. New Year's parties often involve countdowns until the New Year, sometimes while watching the ball drop in Times Square, New York City. At midnight on January 1, a ball is dropped in times square, New York to hail the start of the new year. Once the clock strikes midnight, champagne bottles are opened, couples hail in the new year with a kiss and new years resolutions are finalized. Often, fireworks will be set off to coincide with midnight.

Other traditions involve the Polar Plunge in South Boston, where participants go swimming in the early morning of January first to raise money for a charitable cause7, though other polar plunges do exist. Additionally, sporting events such as the college football bowl games8or the NHL's winter classic hockey game, though later has only taken place since 20089. Orthodox Christians, the Anglican Church and the Lutheran church still celebrate the feast of the circumcision and naming of Jesus.101112.