New Year : New Year or New Year's Day is the first day of a year. By extension the term also designates the celebrations of this first day of the year.
Like any anniversary date of a given calendar, the “New Year's Day” may seem mobile with regard to a calendar operating according to another logic. For example, the New Year of the Chinese calendar (lunisolar) appears as a moving date in the Gregorian calendar (solar calendar).
Reasons for the celebration: For the Romanian historian Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), the celebration of the New Year corresponds to the annual renewal of the primitive cosmogony and of the original cosmogony, which can be found in all primitive civilizations, and allows you to find the fullness of the initiated world.
Some other historians believe that January 1 is the date of the circumcision of Jesus Christ. This ritual practice must indeed be done on the 7th day after birth, i.e. 7 days after Holidays.
Difference between calendars:
In temperate countries: Although "New Years' Days" rarely fall on the same date from one calendar to another, there is a relative agreement between countries.
Indeed, the “disappearance” of vegetation during winter and its “rebirth” in spring has fueled the widespread myth of the “cyclical rebirth” of the year. It is therefore not surprising that a large number of "New Years' days" are celebrated between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
In tropical countries
However, this is by no means universal, especially in tropical countries, where the cycle of the seasons is much less tangible.
One example is ancient Egypt, which, although it uses a solar civil calendar, celebrates the new year with the annual arrival of the flood of the Nile. This flood being due to rains taking place far upstream in the highlands, its date is entirely dependent on meteorological phenomena. However, it usually occurs at the same time.
Different calendars with the correspondence of the dates of their New Year in the Gregorian calendar:
School year (variable depending on the country);
Attic calendar: new moon following the summer solstice (June or July);
Berber calendar: January 12 (Yennayer corresponding to the founding of the XXIIth Dynasty);
Chinese calendar: between January 20 and February 19;
Coptic calendar: September 11 or 12;
Calendar of ancient Egypt: July 19 (when the Nile flooded);
Ethiopian calendar: September 11;
Fixed calendar: January 1;
Gregorian calendar: January 1;
Hebrew calendar: Rosh Hashanah (1st Tishri, in September or October) and beginnings of the lunar, fiscal, agricultural year;
Julian calendar: around January 14; date still used by some countries or communities (Berber calendar, etc.);
Roman liturgical calendar (first Sunday of Advent, end of November);
Muslim calendar: also called the Hijir calendar, its first day is the 1st of the month of Muharram (محرم);
Nanakshahi calendar (Pendjabi: ਨਾਨਕਸ਼ਾਹੀ, nānakashāhī), one of the Sikh calendars: March 14 (1 Chet);
Persian, Zoroastrian and Baha'i calendar: March 21 (spring equinox);
Thai calendar or Buddhist calendar: songkran (every year from April 12 to 15).
Republican calendar (French Revolution): 1st Vendémiaire (September 22), at the autumnal Equinox.
New Year's story :
Ancient Babylon: When you visit the Mesopotamian part of the Louvre museum, you can observe behind a glass two clay rollers from ancient Babylon. The French translation explains that the New Year was the main festival of the Babylonians during which the priests of each city entered their temple and took their tribal God in procession to the main temple of Tammuz in Babylon. This day was marked by orgiastic and sexual rites which were not followed by the Hebrews whose year began in March with the arrival of spring and seeds.
Ancient Egypt: In ancient Egypt, New Year's Day is the first day of the calendar, the first day of the first month of the season in which crops are flooded by the Nile: the I Akhet. The I Akhet 1 symbolically corresponds to the flooding of the Nile, although this is not always the case because the calendar of ancient Egypt shifts every year. Thus, this date carries with it a strong connotation of beneficial renewal, the flood of the Nile being vital for the Egyptians because it deposits on the cultures the silt which suggests good harvests.
It is symbolically on the date of New Year's Day (year VII of the reign of Thoutmose III) that Hatshepsout proclaims his “crowning” on the walls of the temple of Deir el-Bahari). In fact, it actually took place between II Peret 1 and IV Chemou 30, much later in the year, according to the inscriptions of its only obelisk still erected at Karnak. By proclaiming her coronation ideally on New Year's Day, the new sovereign intends to take advantage of the symbolic significance of this date.
New Year's Day is also an opportunity to make offerings to the deceased and to the gods, especially to Ra, whose day of birth is supposed to correspond to New Year's Day. Likewise, a procession of vases filled with the “new water” of the Nile takes place from the river to the temples. In the temples, rites of illumination are carried out, and the renewal of their consecration to the gods.
Ancient Rome: In 46 BC, Julius Caesar decided that New Years Day, previously celebrated in March, would be set for January 1. The Romans dedicate this day to Janus, who happens to be the God of doors and beginnings: he had two faces, one facing forward, the other backward; January is also named after Janus.
The Calends of March: As indicated by the etymology of the months of September (September, seventh month), October (October, eighth month), November (November, ninth month) and December (December, tenth month), the ancient Roman calendar holds the month of March (martius) as the first month.
The ideas of March: However, with the advent of the Republic, the Romans took the habit of distinguishing the years by indicating the name of a consul, the consulate being a magistracy whose mandate lasts one year. This is then referred to as a “consular year”. In -153, the day of the consuls' investiture, until then fixed for March 15, passes to January 1.
The calends of January: So it seems quite natural that it is January 1, that of the year -45, that Julius Caesar, who then begins his fourth term as consul, starts the Julian calendar which modifies certain methods of calculating dates.
The Julian calendar is still used today by the Serbian and Russian Orthodox churches.
Thanks to Ovid (born in -43, died in 17), who describes each month of the year in The Fastes, we know some of the Roman customs observed on January 1: a cult is given to Janus, god of doors and beginnings , with animal sacrifices and offerings of fruits and miel. The doors of the temples are opened. This day is considered the first of the year and we exchange vows. However, the day is not a holiday: we work, at least symbolically, as a sign of economic prosperity. As it is a good day, the courts are in operation. Dressed in white clothes, the Romans accompany the new consuls in procession from their home to the temple of Jupiter Capitoline.
France: In France, New Year's Day was not always January 1: the new year begins on this date under the Edict of Roussillon of August 9, 1564, promulgated by King Charles IX.
Previously New Year's Day has changed a lot over the centuries for people using the solar calendar, depending on the Churches, times and countries. The beginning of the Christian era (the Anno Domini), which did not impose itself progressively in Europe until the 25st millennium, was set according to the work of the monk Dionysius the Little carried out in the sixth century. The latter placed the birth of Jesus on December 753 of the year 1 + 754 = 754 ab Urbe condita, or “XNUMX since the founding of Rome”. He deduced the beginning of the Christian era eight days later, the supposed day of Jesus' circumcision.
In the 1th and XNUMXth centuries, in many provinces, New Years Day is celebrated on March XNUMX (Venetian style).
Under Charlemagne, the year begins at Holidays (style of the Nativity of Jesus).
From the time of the Capetian kings, the year begins on Easter (Easter style). As a result, the years vary greatly in length.
This usage was almost general in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and even until the fifteenth in certain provinces. The genealogists of the kings of France must therefore juggle the dates according to the places to tell the story since the beginning of the year varies according to the provinces: in Vienna, for example, it is March 25 (Florentine style or of the Annunciation, hence the tradition of April Fool's Day commemorating the use of exchanging gifts at the beginning of the year in this style) ...
Finally, the edict of Roussillon of Charles IX harmonized the practices.
The Emperor of Germany Charles V had already set the start of the year for January 1582 for his lands a few decades earlier, but it was Pope Gregory XIII who, by instituting the Gregorian calendar in XNUMX, generalized this measure to the the whole of the Christian world, in particular to simplify the calendar of religious festivals.
Last avatars: From 1792 to 1806, the ephemeral republican calendar abolished January 1 and made the year begin on Vendémiaire 1.
The commune of Paris restores in 1871 for a very short time the republican calendar.
Current New Year's Practices
Western Europe: In the West, it is customary to celebrate the New Year with a banquet the day before, the evening of December 31: it's New Year's Eve. This meal usually includes liver fat and champagne. After this, the parties mix dances and throws of party favors, balls and ribbons of paper ... At midnight, everyone kisses, sometimes under the mistletoe, wishing each other the best possible wishes and engaging in possible good intentions. Then, we offer New Year's gifts.
However, there are some specificities depending on the region or country:
Belgium: In Belgium, it is a tradition to make the rounds of friends and families in order to wish them a Happy New Year. These usually offer a glass ofalcohol (drop) as well as a plate of cakes.
The children pronounce wishes (in poetry or not) in front of their grandparents or parents and as a thank you, receive a "dringuelle" (from the Flemish "drink geld"), ie New Year's gifts.
Spain: In Spain, tradition has it that we eat a grain of raisin at each of the 12 strokes of midnight. All Spaniards follow this tradition, whether they live in Spain or abroad. Campanadas (the bells) ring all over Spain, in every city. This event is also broadcast live on television and radio.
In recent years, a fashion not widespread in Spain has also been to wear red lingerie for the occasion. This practice is done on the 31st.
France: The day is a public holiday in France.
In Savoy, on New Year's Day and in January, cones of treats or money to the children, called New Year's gifts, whenever family members were visited. On New Year's Day, we visited friends to wish a Happy New Year.
It is at this time of the year that the household staff, the guards, janitors, etc., receive their gifts, a sum of money paid by the employer which thus rewards the quality of the service rendered during the period. past year.
At midnight, a tradition is that the French kiss each other under a branch of mistletoe.
You can present your wishes until January 31.
Italy: On New Year's Day, called Capodanno, Italians have a custom of eating special dishes, which are said to bring wealth and abundance. These are dishes made from seeds, for example buns, or dishes from lentils or alternatively cakes coated with miel.
In Naples, the New Year is greeted by a special custom, on the evening of December 31. This tradition consists of throwing old objects out the window, symbols of the past year.
Netherlands: Oudejaarsavond also called Oudejaarsdag is literally the day of the old year (December 31) is celebrated by an excess of fireworks from dawn and until late at night. It is the only day of the year when their use is authorized following their release for free sale only for the three previous days. The next day is called Oud en Nieuw or Old and New.
Portugal: In Portugal, the tradition of eating the 12 grains of raisins at midnight is also practiced (doze passas), but we eat them with both feet on a chair, then we go down with the right foot to bring good luck. Old dishes, usually blue dishes with traditional designs, can also be thrown out the window. There are other traditions in different regions of Portugal.
Canada: In French Canada and Acadia, the New Year is a family event. Thus, as in the "good old days", relatives gather in old family houses during festive evenings. For many French Canadians and Acadians, New Year's Day is therefore a period particularly rich in old traditions. A special tribute is then paid to traditional music whose origins date back to the time of the colony: song to answer, cotillion, jig, podorythmie, quadrille (square set), reel, rigodon, etc. Turkeys, pasta de meat, stew pig's feet, cranberries, beets, cakes our fruits, are among the foods that traditionally make up the New Year's meal menu. But, before starting the feast and at the request of the eldest child, several families first give the paternal blessing.
However, many people prefer to celebrate the New Year in a bar. Moreover, in Quebec, the Bye Bye is a television program which makes a humorous review of the year which is ending. It aired from 1968 to 1998 and thereafter, since 2006. This program is presented on December 31 at 23 p.m. on Radio-Canada, a tradition for many Quebecers. Ecuador, Peru and Colombia: In Ecuador and Peru shortly before the New Year, we make mannequins out of rags or papier-mâché that represent the year that has just passed. These mannequins (muñecos) are exhibited in front of our homes until the evening of the 31st at midnight and then burn them in the streets. We also detonate all kinds of things like firecrackers, fireworks, etc. There is also a superstition which says that if one wears a particular color on oneself during the 12 strokes of midnight, it could bring good luck in certain areas for the new year, like yellow for silver, red. for love, etc. Similarly, anyone who wants to travel all year round has to run around their block with a suitcase in hand at midnight sharp.
The Spanish tradition of eating 12 grains of raisin making a wish during the stroke of midnight is also observed.
At home we decorate the table with baskets of fruits, corn, wheat, rice, cannelle, yellow flowers.
United States: In Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), the “Mummers Parade” is held every January 1st. The city's associations, called New Years Associations, compete in four categories. They prepare costumes and mobile stages for months. About 15 people attend the procession each year. The first of these parades was organized in 000.
Cambodia: In Cambodia, the New Year, called Chaul Chhnam, is celebrated for three days, around April 15th.
China: In China, all you have to do is write and say your wishes in a “wish tree”. This paper must then last all evening for the wish to come true. Chinese New Year is also celebrated with spectacular fireworks and firecracker explosions. While currently the official day is January 1, the date of the Chinese New Year corresponds in the Gregorian calendar to a date between January 21 and February 20. Children and even adults also receive red envelopes with money, these are New Year's gifts.
Korea: New Years Day in Korea is called Saehae or Seol-nal. Koreans eat the Soupe from tteok (tteokgook).
India: The New Year is celebrated on January 1 in most of India. However, historically, this festival was celebrated according to the lunar calendar on different dates located in the spring, depending on the ethnic group.
Japan: New Year's Eve (Ōmisoka) is usually spent with the family, around a hearty meal washed down with sake. We drink a Soupe (miso) special. Before midnight, the family leaves for the nearest temple to share sake and witness the striking of the 108 gongs heralding the coming of the new year (this number is believed to represent the number of sins accumulated in a soul throughout of the year, and by this gesture one drives away the sins one by one of the unclean souls. Shortly after, each one returns to his house and one goes to bed shortly after. The next day, on New Year's Day, the Japanese go to Shinto temples. It is customary to visit relationships and offer cakes de rice called mochis.
Mongolia: The feast of the Lunar New Year, Tsagaan Sar ("white month"), the date of which is fixed every year by the Buddhist monks of the Gandan monastery, takes place over three days. The first day is devoted to the preparations and the big cleaning of the yurts; the second day is New Year's Eve, the third is New Year proper. On this occasion, the Halh Mongols exchange the cakes-soles that the men prepared in a long manufacturing process during the month before the holiday. Men are invited to taste it during their traditional hospitality tours, and one of these cakes, filled with candy and wrapped is given to them solemnly on their departure, so that they can share it in their homes. The New Year was celebrated until the end of the XNUMXth century at the end of summer, when the lactation of herds resumed, and was moved to around the end of December when Emperor Khubilai adapted the Chinese calendar.
Russia: In Russia, for Novii God, the Russian New Year, we drink champagne under the twelve strokes of midnight, after the twelfth stroke, the door or the window is opened so that the New Year enters the house. This tradition is also celebrated in Ukraine, Belarus, etc. The evening of Holidays, we traditionally eat Koulibiac, the pie made of Salmon, cabbage, rice served with a cream au lemon. Russia being a huge country, we can find an infinite number of variants depending on the region.
Thailand and Laos: The New Year, known as Songkran, is celebrated for three or more days, around April 15, following the Buddhist lunar calendar.
Tibet: In Tibet, the New Year celebrations (Losar) have a pre-Buddhist origin and date back to the first Tibetan king Nyatri Tsenpo, whose reign began in the year -127 in the XNUMXnd century BC. J.-C ..
The year of his enthronement marks the first year of the Tibetan calendar. It is therefore in honor of the first king of Tibet that the Tibetan New Year, the Losar, is celebrated.
Losar, the first day of the Tibetan New Year, coincides with the first day of the lunar new year. The date is chosen in accordance with Tibetan astrology, a subject studied in the framework of studies in traditional Tibetan medicine.
Vietnam: Têt Nguyên Dán` is the celebration of the Vietnamese New Year (in quốc ngữ Tết Nguyên Ðán, in chữ nôm 節 元旦), literally "feast of the first day of the year"
Australia: Lots of parties and all the restaurants are full. There are often fireworks. We drink champagne at the stroke of midnight; all hold hands while singing Auld Lang Syne, a Scottish song.
Religious or community practices :
Awal muharram, the New Year of the Hegira
Rosh Hashana, the Hebrew New Year
Nowruz, the Persian New Year
Yennayer, the Berber New Year
We Tripantu, the Mapuche New Year, corresponds to the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere.
Wish New Year in different languages : The New Year is a time to wish the best possible things for the coming year to those around you. The simplest version is simply to wish "a happy new year", but it was common to use longer formulas to express more specific wishes.
- English: Happy New Year (literally: Happy New Year).
- German: Frohes Neues Jahr (literally: Happy New Year).
- Arabic: سنة سعيدة Sana Saïda (literally: Happy Year).
- Berber: Assugwas Amaynu (literally: New year) or Assugas Ameggaz.
- Breton: Bloavezh mad (literally: Good year). Many versions of the long formulas, including: "Bloavezh mad, yec'hed mad ha prosperite, hag ar baradoz da fin o puhez" (literally: Good year, good health and prosperity, and heaven at the end of your life).
- Catalan: Bon any nou (literally: happy new year).
- Korean: Saehae bok mani bat eu sae yo (literally: I wish you happy new year and all my best wishes).
- Corsica: Pace e salute (literally: peace and health).
- Spanish: Próspero año nuevo (literally: Prosperous new year), Feliz año nuevo (literally: Happy new year).
- Estonian: Head uut aastat (literally: Happy New Year).
- Finnish: Onnelistta uutta vuotta
- French: Happy New Year, Happy New Year, or Happy New Year.
Long formula: Happy New Year, good health.
- Francique Moselle: Gutt Naujohr.
- Hebrew: Shana Tova (literally Happy New Year) for the Jewish New Year, and Shana Ezrakhit Tova (literally Happy Calendar Year) for the Civil New Year.
- Hungarian: Boldog Új Évet.
- Indonesian: Selamat tahun baru (literally: Happy New Year).
- Italian: Buon anno (literally: Happy New Year), Felice anno nuovo (literally: Happy New Year).
- Japanese: Akemashite omedetô gozaimasu (literally: Happy New Year).
- Malay: Selamat tahun baharu (literally: Happy New Year).
- Dutch: Gelukkig nieuwjaar (literally: Happy New Year).
- Norwegian: Godt nytt år (literally: Happy New Year).
- Occitan: Bona annada, plan granada e plan acompanhada. Que sem pas mai, que siam pas mens (literally: Happy New Year, prosperous and followed by others. That if we are not more, we are not less).
- Polish: Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku (literally: Happy New Year).
- Portuguese: Feliz ano novo (literally: Happy New Year), Próspero ano novo (literally: Prosperous New Year).
– Provençal: Bon bout d'an (desired in Provence between Holidays and New Year's Day).
- Romanian: Un an nou fericit (literally: Happy New Year).
- Russian: С новым годом - S novym godom (literally: with the new year, short version from the expression I congratulate you with (= on the occasion of) the new year, in Russian: Поздравляю с Новым Годом).
- счастливого нового года - Schaslivovo Novovo Goda (literally: happy new year).
- Swedish: Gott nytt år (literally: Happy New Year).
- Czech: Šťastný nový rok (literally: Happy New Year).
- Ukrainian: З новим роком - Z novym rokom (literally: with the new year).
Long formula: Я вітаю з новим роком - Ya vitayu z novym rokom (literally: I congratulate you on the occasion of the new year).
Щасливого нового року - Chtchaslyvoho novoho rokou (literally: happy new year).
Long formula: Я зичу / бажаю щасливого нового року - Ya zytchou / bajayou chtchaslyvoho rokou (literally: I wish you a happy new year).
- Vietnamese: Chúc mừng năm mới (literally: wish happy new year).
- Chinese: 新年 快子 xīn nián kuai le (literally: happy new year).
Artistic works and New Year's Day : Arnaud Desplechin's film Comment je suis suis disputé… (my sex life) features a colorful New Year's Day scene with people whom the main character, Paul Dédalus, cordially despises.
Perhaps Cédric Klapisch takes place entirely on New Year's Eve.
Irony of Fate (Full Original Title: Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!) Is a Soviet film by Eldar Ryazanov, shot in 1975. This burlesque comedy set on New Year's Day is a cult movie in Russia which ritually returns to television during the end of the year celebrations. A big budget remake (Irony of Fate. The sequel, in Russian: Ирония судьбы. Продолжение) was filmed in 2007, but was not directed by the same director.
The plot of Camille redoubles, directed by Noémie Lvovsky, begins on New Year's Eve.