New Year's Day in United States

New Year's Day

When Do People in the USA Celebrate New Year's Day?

The US follows the modern Gregorian calendar and observes New Year's Day on January 1, similar to most countries worldwide.

Is New Year's Day a Federal Holiday in the United States?

New Year's Day, which marks the start of the new Gregorian year, is a federal holiday in the US. This federal holiday allows Americans to welcome another year with loads of celebration and remember the previous year's memories. 

On New Year's Day, government offices, companies, organizations, and schools are closed in the USA. Also, public transportation only operates according to a set schedule.

New Year's Day All Quick Overview:

  • Time/Date: January 1 every year
  • Category: Festival
  • Why It's Marked: This day celebrates the start of a new year according to the Gregorian Calendar.

History of New Year's Day

People around the world have been celebrating New Year's Day for centuries. But many of us need to learn how this day became a holiday. So let's learn about the day we celebrate each year splendidly. 

The first New Year's Day celebration took place in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, in 2000 BC, but it wasn't on January 1. It was observed around the vernal equinox in the middle of March. Now you might be wondering how the date has changed. Keep reading to find the answer.

The New Year's Day celebration on January 1 is a relatively modern practice. It is so because initially, the Roman calendar had ten months and a total of 304 days, as it didn't have the months of January and February. However, King Numa Pompilius added Januarius and Februarius to the calendar. But still, they celebrated New Year's Day in mid-March.

With time, the old Roman calendar was out of sync with the sun, and Julius Caesar decided to fix it using eminent mathematicians and astronomers. As a result, we have the Julian calendar. It is comparable to the Gregorian calendar that is currently in use. And then Julius Caesar established January 1 as New Year's Day in honor of the Roman deity of beginnings, Janus.

Later, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII again claimed January 1 as New Year's Day and adjusted the calendar to reflect the earth's rotation around the sun rather than the moon. And this is how we got our modern-day calendar, the Gregorian calendar.

How do People in the United States Celebrate New Year's Day?

Many Americans celebrate New Year's Day with gatherings of friends and family. Typically, parties start at 12 am on January 1. Here are some examples of how Americans celebrate New Year's Day.

Families and friends get together to "ring in" the New Year and share a meal. Raising a toast and singing songs like Auld Lang Syne are also important parts of the celebration.

In southern states, Americans having black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is another practice to welcome the day. They believe eating black-eyed peas on this day will bring them good luck and wealth.

The custom of watching the television broadcast of the New Year's celebrations in Times Square, New York City, is also popular among Americans. And gathering at Times Square to count down the last few seconds till the new year arrives while watching the New Year's Eve Ball start to descend one minute before midnight has been one of the popular attractions for people of all ages.

Another popular American tradition on New Year's Day is making New Year's resolutions—promising to do better in the upcoming year. Some people even write their resolutions and circulate them among their friends.

Americans' New Year's Day celebration is incomplete without midnight fireworks, parties, and special events. Some towns and cities even arrange parades and special football games on this day.

Many Americans also follow the tradition of kissing the first person they see at the stroke of midnight so that they won't have to spend a lonely year. Interesting, right?

Interesting Facts about New Year's Day

This section will share some lesser-known facts about New Year's Day.

  • Baby New Year is quite old. Since around 600 B.C., Baby New Year has been associated with the holiday. The baby symbolizes rebirth at the beginning of every new year.  
  • To help sailors, time balls were invented long before they were used on New Year's Eve. Starting in 1833, a ball was dropped at 1 pm every day from the top of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, to assist ship commanders in coordinating their navigational equipment. Coastal regions all across the world had similar balls set up.
  • The tradition of the annual gathering in Times Square for New Year's started when the New York Times celebrated its building opening in 1904.
  • Every year, Waterford creates a brand-new ball pattern. With nearly 32,000 lights, the sphere is constructed from 2,688 crystal triangles. And it displays almost 16 million different color patterns.
  • Miami, Florida, welcomes the new year with an orange rather than a ball. For more than 30 years, it has been customary to raise Mr. Neon, a 35-foot metal fruit wearing sunglasses.
  • On New Year's Eve, Americans consume about 360 million glasses of sparkling wine.
  • The tradition of the midnight kiss on New Year’s came from the Romans. The kissing custom is attributed to the ancient Romans because of their Saturnalia celebration, where they honor the god of time, Saturn.
  • New Year's is a terrifying time for kids in Akita, Japan. On New Year's, following a tradition called Namahage, grown men dress up as devils to frighten kids into behaving properly for their parents. They say things like, "Are there any crybabies at home?" and "Are there any misbehaving youngsters nearby" as they move from house to house.
  • Grapes are considered lucky in the Spanish tradition. Spain still practices eating 12 grapes in the first 12 seconds of the new year.
  • In the New Year’s Day feast, foods with a ring or round shape have special significance as they represent how the year has come full circle.

New Year's Day Quotes

New Year is all about joy, gratitude, and motivation. Here are some quotes that will make you feel motivated, determined, and grateful to start life on a new note.

"In this new year, be grateful that God has given you victory over many things over the past year." - Steven M. Hitchcock

"A worthy New Year's resolution, perhaps, is to take no hatred into the New Year without requiring it to restate its purpose." - Robert Brault

"What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year." - Vern McLellan

"Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day." - Michael Josephson


1. What is the symbol of New Year's Day?

Baby New Year is a popular New Year's Day sign. It is usually a white male baby in a diaper, cap, and sash. The baby symbolizes rebirth at the beginning of every new year. 

2. Initially, New Year's Day was celebrated in which month?

For quite an extended period, the people of Mesopotamia celebrated New Year's Day in mid-March.

New Year's Day Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type
2022 Sat 01 Jan New Year's Day Public
2023 Sun 01 Jan New Year's Day Public
2024 Mon 01 Jan New Year's Day Public
2025 Wed 01 Jan New Year's Day Public
2026 Thu 01 Jan New Year's Day Public

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

Related Posts