New Year's Day

New Year’s Day celebrates the beginning of a new year in the Gregorian calendar, the calendar commonly used today.

About New Year's Day

The beginning of a new year has been celebrated since ancient times. Spring arrival was considered the beginning of a new cycle of life and the vernal equinox marked the start of a new year. There are still countries that traditionally celebrate the beginning of a new year around the vernal equinox (for example, Nowruz, the Persian New Year, celebrated in Central Asian countries).

For a while, the Romans considered March 1st the first day of a new year. January 1st has been celebrated only since 46 B.C. when the Roman emperor Julius Caesar introduced his new, solar-based calendar. The Roman Empire’s influence established the use of the Julian calendar and later the Gregorian calendar, and January 1st became the beginning of the year in all its territories. Today, January 1st is celebrated everywhere, even if there are still locally celebrations for the different calendar (Chinese New Year, African New Year, Old-New Year, etc.)

When is the New Year's Day celebrated?

In the United States of America, New Year’s Day is a national holiday and is celebrated on January 1st.

How is New Year's Day celebrated?

New Year is honored with parties, fireworks, and public events. In the United States, people gather for festivities in public squares, restaurants, and homes. The most famous celebration in the United States happens in Times Square in New York. A large ball full of lights is lowered on a pole during the last minute of the year. People count the last seconds of the year. This festivity has been held since 1907 and became a tradition.

Is New Year's Day a federal holiday?

New Year’s Day is one of the ten federal holidays recognized by the United States Government. Federal non-essential government offices and many private businesses are closed on New Year’s Day.


Discover the complete list of US business holidays and federal holidays.