Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When is New Year's Anyway?

Just days ago, my family and friends rang in 2011 at midnight by watching the traditional Times Square countdown on TV, but Jan. 1st isn’t the only starting point for a New Year. Many cultures and countries begin the New Year at a totally different place in the calendar.

In case you're curious, here are 13 other dates.

  1. The Tamils in south India declare the first day of the month of Thai as the first day of the Tamil year. The date? Jan. 14th.

  2. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the beginning of the next year on Jan. 14th, too. However, the church also recognize Jan. 1st as well.

  3. Chinese New Year, known as the Lunar New Year, occurs on the new moon of the first lunar mouth. That means the Lunar New Year falls between Jan. 21st and Feb. 21st.

  4. The Vietnamese New Year, Tết Nguyên Đán, or the Feast of the First Morning, is celebrated on the same date as the Chinese New Year.

  5. In Tibet, the start of the New Year is called Losar, a three-day event. Because it follows the Lunar calendar, its date changes yearly.

  6. The Assyrians’ New Year, called Rish Nissanu, happens on April 1st.

  7. If you’re a Sikh, a Hindu religious sect, your New Year starts even later, on April 14th.

  8. Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, occurs on March 20th or 21st at the time of the vernal equinox, when night and day are equal, and spring begins.

  9. Nyepi or the Day of Silence -- the Balinese New Year -- falls on Bali's Lunar New Year, which starts in March in 2011.

  10. Hindus living in Maharashtra, India, use a "lunisolar" calendar to determine their Gudi Padwa, or first day of a new year. This happens in March or April.

  11. In Southeast Asian countries, a Water Festival is staged to commemorate the start of another year. This date is usually April 13 -15.

  12. To start its new year, the Coptic Orthodox Church (Egypt) celebrates the feast of Nayrouz around Sept. 11 -- yes, 9-11, but long before our 9-11.

  13. Rosh Hashanah, which means head of the year, marks the beginning of the creation as well as a new year for Jewish people. This holiday often occurs in September.

By now, you may be thoroughly confused. When do you and your family celebrate the start of the New Year?



  1. Wow that is confusing. Interesting to know how many cultures celebrate the new year differently.

  2. Great idea for a T13 topic, brenda. Happy New year! *g*

    My post

  3. Madison and Heather,
    Thanks. I like learn about other cultures and I'm glad you do too.

  4. Wonderful and informative. Happy New Year!

    Enjoy your Thursday!

  5. That was a good mind stretch. We get used to thinking our way is the only way. We are making it up as we go!

  6. Thanks so much for posting this. It's always great to see someone open to view the other cultures around a "common" holiday. I celebrate the secular New Year with everyone else, but spiritually the New Year started for me on November 1st, so I appreciate this!

    Happy TT,

    13 New Year's Goals

  7. The one that occurs on the vernal equinox makes a lot of sense! Great post!

  8. Cool! I would love to celebrate the new year in spring, when it ACTUALLY feels like something new instead of the endless cold and gray that we have with the NY starting in January. Which is when we celebrate. January 1.

  9. Harriet,
    Thanks. I hope you have a great Thursday too.

  10. colleen,
    I agree. The world is an interesting place.

  11. Xakara,
    I guess a new year can begin anytime. Kudos on your new start.

  12. Forgetfulone,
    Yeah, you're right. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Lynn,
    Yeah. You have me thinking. Spring is a time of rebirth so it does make sense to start the year there. :)

  14. NIce list, very interesting and educational.

    Happy TT!

  15. Rosh Hashanah. Great list. Happy New year.

  16. Yes, it's a varied time throughout the year. Great info.

  17. kandyblossom,
    Thanks. I like to be educational.

  18. Journeywoman,
    Happy New Year back at you and thanks for visiting.

  19. AnthonyNorth,
    Yep. Happy New Year. I appreciate your visit.

  20. My friend thinks that each person has their own "new year" on their birthday!

    It's interesting seeing other cultures new years. I like learning about stuff like that!


  21. Very informative and quite interesting! Thanks so much for sharing that. I had no idea.

  22. Interesting. A day of silence sounds like a very good idea!

  23. Over here (Thailand) we are chucking water on each other come April 13-15 :) Happy new year.

  24. That was really interesting, a fun read! It's also fascinating to learn how pagan and Christian holidays/holy days intertwine.

  25. Rachel,
    I like that idea about a birthday starting a person's year. Thanks.

  26. CountryDew,
    Thanks. I like to share the new things I learn.

  27. Nicholas,
    Yep, sometimes silence and reflection are good. Thanks for stopping by.

  28. Hazel,
    Like a water fight? Sounds fun. Maybe I'll get to visit sometime.

  29. JTS,
    Yes, it is interesting to compare holidays and traditions, to see where we're alike and yet different. It would be fun to get to celebrate all these New Years.

  30. So many cultures, so many variations. A wonderful world.