January 1 represents the fresh start of a new year after a period of remembrance of the passing year, including on radio, television, and in newspapers, which starts in early December in countries around the world. Publications have year-end articles that review the changes during the previous year. In some cases publications may set their entire year work alight in hope that the smoke emitted from the flame brings new life to the company. There are also articles on planned or expected changes in the coming year.
This day is traditionally a religious feast, but since the 1900s has also become an occasion to celebrate the night of December 31, called New Year's Eve. There are fireworks at midnight at the moment the new year arrives (a major one is in Sydney, Australia). Sydney contributes to some of the major New Year celebrations each year.
Watchnight services are also still observed by many.
Regional celebrations : In European countries, the New Year is greeted with private fireworks.
On New Year's Day, people in certain countries gather on beaches and run into the water to celebrate the new year. In Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands this is very popular. These events are sometimes known as polar bear plunges, and are sometimes organised by groups to raise money for charity. Polar Bear Clubs in many Northern Hemisphere cities near bodies of water, have a tradition of holding organised plunges on New Year's Day.
Throughout Great Britain there are many celebrations across the island, particularly in Scotland. In London, thousands gather along the embankment on the river Thames to watch the fireworks around the London Eye. The New Year officially starts when Big Ben strikes twelve.
In Scotland, there are many unique customs associated with the New Year. These form the Scottish celebration Hogmanay-the Scots name for New Year's Eve. The street party in Princes Street in Edinburgh is one famous example.
In Wales, Calennig is celebrated, with celebrations attracting thousands of people to the capital, Cardiff.
In Greece and Cyprus, families and relatives switch off the lights at midnight, then celebrate by cutting the vassilopita (Basil's pie) which usually contains one coin or equivalent. Whoever wins expects luck for the whole year. After the pie, a traditional game of cards called triantaena (31) follows.
In Nassau, Bahamas, the Junkanoo parade takes place.
In the Philippines, New Year's is considered part of the Christmas holiday. Noise is made on New Year's Eve with firecrackers and horns (amongst other methods) to dispel evil spirits and to prevent them from bringing bad luck to the coming new year. Tables are laden with food for the Media Noche (midnight meal), and a basket of twelve, different round fruits is displayed to symbolise prosperity in each of the coming twelve months. Public New Year's parties are organised by city governments, and are very well-attended.
In Russia and the other 14 former republics of the Soviet Union, the celebration of Novi God is greeted by fireworks and drinking champagne. Because religion was suppressed in the Soviet Union. The New Year holiday took on many attributes associated with Christmas in other countries, including Christmas trees, Ded Moroz (a variant of Santa Claus) and family celebrations with lavish food and gifts. In Moscow, the president of Russia counts down the final seconds of the "old year". The Kremlin's landmark Spassky Clock Tower chimes in the new year and then the anthem starts. It is customary to make a wish while the Clock chimes. The Old New Year is celebrated on January 13 (equivalent to January 1 in the "old style" Julian calendar). Although not an official holiday, it marks the end of the holiday season and is usually when people take down trees and other decorations.
In Davos, Switzerland, the final match of the Spengler Cup ice hockey Tournament is usually held on this day by tradition. In the United States, it is traditional to spend this occasion together with loved ones. A toast is made to the new year, with kisses, fireworks and parties among the customs. It is popular to make a New Year's resolution, although that is optional. In the country's most famous New Year celebration in New York City, the 11,875-pound (5,386-kg), 12-foot-diameter (3.7-m) Times Square Ball located high above One Times Square is lowered starting at 11:59 pm, with a countdown from sixty seconds until one second, when it reaches the bottom of its tower. The arrival of the new year is announced at the stroke of midnight with fireworks, music and a live celebration that is broadcast worldwide. (Hundreds of local imitations of the ball drop also occur throughout the United States.)
In France, some regard the weather as the prediction of that year: wind blowing east, fruit will yield; wind blowing west, fish and livestock will be bumper; wind blowing south, there will be good weather all year round and wind blowing north, there will be crop failure. People would like to toast for the new year.
In Spain, it is customary to have 12 grapes at hand when the clock strikes 12 at midnight. One grape is eaten on each stroke. If all the grapes are eaten within the period of the strikes, it means good luck in the new year.
The Annual Stoats Loony Dook held in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 1st January.
The celebrations held world-wide on January 1 as part of New Year's Day commonly include the following:
American football: In the United States, January 1 is the traditional date for many post-season college football bowl games, which are usually accompanied by parades and other activities to celebrate the events
Football: In Europe, Association Football, where a full fixture programme[clarification needed] is usually played throughout the Premier League and the rest of the League/Non League system in England
Ice hockey, most famously the Winter Classic in North America, a National Hockey League game that is played outdoors
Japan South Korea
Japanese New Year is celebrated on January 1 because the Gregorian calendar is now used instead of the Chinese calendar.
Korean New Year, called Seollal is the first day of the lunar calendar. Koreans also celebrate solar New Year's Day on January 1 each year, following the Gregorian Calendar. New Year's Day is a national holiday, so people get the day off while they have a minimum of three days off on Lunar New Year. Koreans celebrate New Year's Day by preparing food for their ancestors' spirits, visiting ancestors' graves, and playing Korean games such as Yunnori with families. Young children give respect to their parents, grandparents, relatives, and other elders by bowing down in a traditional way and are given good wishes and some money by the elders. Families enjoy the New Year also by counting down until 12:00 am on New Year's Eve.
In the Gwaun Valley, Pembrokeshire, Wales the new year is celebrated on January 13, based on the Julian calendar.
Hijri New Year in the Islamic culture is also known as Islamic new year (Arabic: Ras as-Sanah al-Hijriyah) is the day that marks the beginning of a new Islamic calendar year. New Year moves from year to year because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.
Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years by the related cultural continent. The holiday is also celebrated and observed by many parts of Central Asia, South Asia, Northwestern China, Crimea and some groups in the Balkans. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, the same time is celebrated in the Indian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalises night and day is calculated exactly every year and Iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is celebrated by Jews in Israel and throughout the world. The date is not set according to the Gregorian calendar, but it always falls during September or October. The holiday is celebrated by religious services and special meals. The night of December 31/January 1, the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar, is also celebrated widely in Israel and is referred to as Sylvester or the civil new year.
Christians in India celebrate January 1 as the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar. Catholic Christians also celebrate January 1 as The Solemnity of Mary- the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Diwali related New Years celebrations include Marwari New Year and Gujrati New Year.
Indian New Year's days has several variations depending on the region and is based on the Hindu calendar.
In Hinduism, different regional cultures celebrate new year at different times of the year. In Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Nepal, Odisha, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, households celebrate the new year when the Sun enters Aries on the Hindu calendar. This is normally on April 14 or April 15, depending on the leap year. Elsewhere in northern/central India, the Vikram Samvat calendar is followed. According to that the new year day is the first day of the Chaitra month, also known as Chaitra Shukla Pratipada or Gudi Padwa. This basically is the first month of the Hindu calendar, the first shukla paksha (fortnight) and the first day. This normally comes around March 23-24, mostly around the Spring Equinox in Gregorian Calendar. The new year is celebrated by paying respect to elders in the family and by seeking their blessings. They also exchange tokens of good wishes for a healthy and prosperous year ahead.
Malayalam New Year (Puthuvarsham) is celebrated either on the first day of the month of Medam in mid-April which is known as Vishu or the first day of the month of Chingam, in the Malayalam Calendar in mid-August according to another reckoning. Unlike most other calendar systems in India, the New Year's Day on the Malayalam Calendar is not based on any astronomical event. It is just the first day of the first of the twelve months on the Malayalam Calendar. The Malayalam Calendar (called Kollavarsham) originated in 825 CE, based on general agreement among scholars, with the re-opening of the city of Kollam (on Malabar Coast), which had been destroyed by a natural disaster.