The entire world is eagerly waiting for the clock to strike 12:00 AM so that they can begin celebrating the New Year of 2023. As New Zealand, Sydney, and South Korea have already welcomed the new year and begun the celebration, here are some interesting facts about the major holiday that is something commonly celebrated throughout the world.
New Year’s Day is a much-awaited and popular holiday all across the world. It marks the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. According to Britannica, social, cultural, and religious observances worldwide that celebrate the beginning of the new year.
Such festivals are among the oldest and the most universally observed.
The earliest known record of a New Year festival dates from about 2000 BCE in Mesopotamia, where in Babylonia the new year (Akitu) began with the new moon after the spring equinox (mid-March) and in Assyria with the new moon nearest the autumn equinox (mid-September). For the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians the year began with the autumn equinox (September 21), and for the early Greeks it began with the winter solstice (December 21). On the Roman republican calendar the year began on March 1, but after 153 BCE the official date was January 1, which was continued in the Julian calendar of 46.
Those religions and cultures using a lunar calendar have continued to observe the beginning of the year on days other than January 1.
Many of the customs of New Year festivals note the passing of time with both regret and anticipation. The baby as a symbol of the new year dates to the ancient Greeks, with an old man representing the year that has passed. The Romans derived the name for the month of January from their god Janus, who had two faces, one looking backward and the other forward. The practice of making resolutions to rid oneself of bad habits and to adopt better ones also dates to ancient times. Some believe the Babylonians began the custom more than 4,000 years ago. These early resolutions were likely made in an attempt to curry favour with the gods.
Because of the belief that what a person does on the first day of the year foretells what he will do for the remainder of the year, gatherings of friends and relatives have long been significant.
Public gatherings, as in Times Square in New York City or in Trafalgar Square in London, draw large crowds, and the countdown to the dropping of an electronic ball in Times Square to signify the exact moment at which the new year begins is televised worldwide.
First and last countries to celebrate the new year 2023
Although the ball drops at midnight in Times Square to mark the beginning of the new year, it is important to remember that it is not a new day at the same time everywhere in the world. The time changes differently in different places of the world. Some places ring in the new year much earlier than others.
Oceania is the place in the world which marks the New Year celebration first. Tonga, Kiribati and Samoa- tiny Pacific island nations- are the first to ring in a new Calendar year as here, January 1 starts at 10 am GMT or 3:30 pm as per Indian Standard Timing on December 31.
On the other hand, close to the United States, the uninhabited islands- Baker Island and Howland- are the places in the world to welcome the New Year the last as they kickstart their celebration at 12 pm GMT or 5:30 pm as per Indian Standard Timing on January 1.
New Zealand was the first place to welcome the New Year. Australia’s Sydney was also among the first major cities to ring in 2023. It rang in the New Year at 01:00 pm GMT on December 31.
Japan, South Korea and North Korea will see the New Year at 03:00 pm GMT on December 31.
Countries like China, Philippines and Singapore will enter 2023 from 04:00 pm GMT onwards on December 31.
In India and Sri Lanka, celebrations will take place to welcome the New Year from 06:30 pm GMT on December 31. Pakistan will celebrate the New Year from 07:00 pm onwards on December 31.
The United States will start celebrating the new year from 05:00 am GMT on January 1.
Time of New Year (December 31st 2022) 2023 for different countries
- New Zealand: 10:15 am GMT | 3:45 pm IST
- Australia: 1 pm GMT | 6:30 pm IST
- Japan, South Korea and North Korea: 3 pm GMT | 8:30 pm IST
- China, Philippines and Singapore: 4 pm GMT | 9:30 pm IST
- Bangladesh: 6 pm GMT | 11:30 pm IST
- Nepal: 6:15 pm GMT | 11:45 pm IST
- India and Sri Lanka: 6:30 pm GMT | 12:00 am IST
- Pakistan: 7 pm GMT | 12:30 am IST
- Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Spain: 11 pm GMT | 4:30 am IST
- UK, Ireland, Iceland, Portugal: 12 am GMT | 5:30 am IST