NEW YEAR'S DAY
New Year's Day marks the beginning of the New Year. For everyone it is a time for taking stock, but also for celebrating. On the night of 31 December, parties and dinners are organised with close friends and relatives.
The first day of the year corresponds to New Year's Day in the Gregorian calendar, our calendar and that of most western countries, and in the Japanese calendar. The history of New Year's Day has pagan origins: 1 January has been considered the first day of the year since 46 B.C. with the introduction of the Julian calendar. Before the institution of the calendar promulgated by Julius Caesar, in fact, the first day of the year coincided with the first day of March.
The celebrations date back to the pagan festival in honour of the Roman god Janus, the name from which the month of January is derived, which was celebrated immediately after the Saturnalia, the Roman festivals for the god Saturn, which closed the year. During the following centuries, although many European countries had adopted the Julian calendar that set New Year's Day on 1 January, in reality the date of the 1st day of the year changed from area to area. For example, in England, Ireland, Pisa and Florence, New Year's Day was celebrated on 25 March; in Spain, on the other hand, the first day of the year was set for 25 December, corresponding to Christmas; in Apulia, Calabria and Sardinia, it was celebrated on 1 September. The different dates were then made to coincide by Pope Innocent XII all on 1 January from the year 1691.
It is a tradition in Italy to celebrate New Year's Eve between the night of 31 December and 1 January. This is why we often refer to the night of 31 December, specifically New Year's Day, as New Year's Day. In reality, 31 December is celebrated as San Silvestro and is to be considered the eve of the actual New Year.
In the countries of the Orthodox Christian religion, on the other hand, New Year's Eve falls at the end of the Julian calendar. Russia, Macedonia, Belarus and Moldova celebrate the arrival of the New Year on the night between 13 and 14 January. Chinese New Year, on the other hand, does not have a fixed date, as it corresponds to the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar. With respect to the Gregorian calendar, it varies from year to year, but falls on a day between 21 January and 20 February.