The common and the most satirical answer that comes to one’s mind is “because it is the first day of the year, hence the NEW YEAR”. Well, you are not completely wrong in that perspective. Here, in this article, we will help you broaden your horizons on why exactly the New Year is celebrated on January 1st.
The first time January 1 came to be considered as the beginning of the New Year was back in 45 BCE. The Roman calendar before that began in March and had over 355 days. An additional 27 or 28-day intercalary month would sometimes be inserted between February and March.
It was the Roman Dictator Julius Caesar who reformed the calendar soon after coming to power in the late first century BCE. Therefore, with the expansion of the Roman Empire, the use of the Julian Calendar also spread throughout. However, following the fall of Rome in the 15th century CE, many Christian countries altered the calendar so that it was more reflective of their religion and March 25 (the feast of the annunciation) and December 25 (Christmas) became common New Year’s Day.
But, it later became clear that Julian Calendar required additional changes due to a miscalculation concerning leap years. This error caused various events to take place in the wrong season for centuries. In addition to solving the issues with leap years, the Gregorian Calendar was restored on January 1st as the beginning of the New Year. Italy, France, and Spain were among the countries that accepted the new year calendar while Protestants and Orthodox nations took time to adopt it. Moreover, Great Britain and their American Colonies did not follow the Gregorian Calendar up until 1752, and before that, they celebrated the new year as usual on March 25th.
Over time, many started using the Gregorian Calendar. Countries that follow the Gregorian Calendar are believed to have other traditional and religious calendars as well. However, some nations never adopted the Gregorian Calendar and start their New Year on dates other than January 1st.
To give you all a perfect example, Ethiopia is one such state that never followed the Gregorian Calendar and they celebrate their New Year known as Enkutatash in September.