New Year’s Eve is often marked with excitement and festivities. It is also one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world alongside Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day, Diwali, and Eid-al-Fitr. The difference in time between the New Year’s Eve festivities from one country to another makes it possible for one to celebrate the holiday in two or more countries. Some of the exciting cities to spend the New Year’s Eve are Sydney, Bangkok, London, and Rio de Janeiro.
The varied timings for New Year’s Eve are as a result of the over 38 different local times that exist in the world. Consequently, the difference in time between the first country that celebrates New Year’s Eve and the last one is approximately 25 hours. Typically, the first nations to celebrate the eve of New Year are located near the International Date Line. Such countries include Tonga, Kiribati, and Samoa. Thus, the first person to celebrate New Year’s Eve is one who lives in any of these island countries.
Brief History Of New Year’s Eve
Historically, one of the earliest recorded celebrations of New Year was in Mesopotamia in 2000 B.C. At the time, the holiday lasted for 11 days and was scheduled for mid-March and not January as is common today. The modern way of celebrating the New Year originated from the ancient Romans whose calendar revolved around the lunar cycle. As a result, similar to the Mesopotamians, the New Year was celebrated in March. However, following the change of calendar from the lunar cycle to the solar year, the month of celebrating New Year’s Eve and the New Year became January. This change was influenced by an astronomer called Sosigenes. Thus, today most countries that use the Gregorian calendar hold these festivities in January. The Romans celebrated New Year’s Eve as a form of thanksgiving and a reflection of the occurrences of the ending year. Additionally, they also celebrate the day as an indication of hope for better experiences in the new year. It is also for this reason that many people in the world today celebrate New Year’s Eve. Most countries treat New Year’s Day as a public holiday.
Some New Year’s Eve Traditions
The first popular New Year’s Eve tradition is the writing of New Year Resolutions. Most people in the world take this chance to reflect on their past year’s achievements and shortcomings in light of their plans at the start of the past year. Subsequently, they write down their strategies for the new year in terms of what they wish to achieve. These plans may cover financial goals, spiritual goals, personal development goals, and community-related goals among others. The second tradition is the “Kiss at the Stroke of Midnight.” Married couples and partners show a desire to strengthen their ties in the new year through this tradition. Other famous traditions include singing the “Auld lang syne” Scottish song and eating 12 grapes at midnight or before midnight to symbolize 12 months of luck in the new year. New Year’s Eve celebrations are often characterized by evening gatherings, feasting, New Year countdowns, and light fireworks.