Talk:New Year

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For some reason the following important comment was removed. Many people do not realise that the new year only begins in London when Big Ben strikes 12 midnight on 31st December .It really begins at Greenwich which is about ten miles away but Big Bens time is synchronised with Greenwich. The new year does NOT begin at the international date line or in Australia or Berlin or New York (the new year is five house old by then.) It begins in London at midnight. Allthis was agreed at the Washington conference in 1880 The use of UTC..universal time makes no difference..the plus or minus signs used with UTC always direct one back to the place where time actually starts which is always Greenwich London Personally I think using UTC and not GMT is confusing for most people which is why GMT is still used so widely in the media. This is an important comment ..Please do not remove it! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:19, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

In England the new year did not legally change from the twenty-fifth of March to the first of January until 1752,

I've NEVER understood this. Does it mean that before 1752, the year changed in March, ie the day after March 24 1700 was March 25 1701? Please someone explain! -- Tarquin 19:35, 10 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Your example is quite right. What's there to explain? Gdr 17:41, 2004 Oct 12 (UTC)

I think there's a lot to explain. You don't. Think.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:14, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

The new year begins locally at Dec 31 midnight (at the onset of January 1), local time (therefore local time zone). Locally speaking, it thus proceeds over the course of 25 hours until all time zones have completed it. However, if one wants to speak of the timing of the new year with respect to the entire planet, as one might do in astronomy, it would have to be Dec 31 midnight (at the onset of January 1) UTC. That is the standard against which all other time zones are measured, plus or minus. The date line will not do, as there is a time zone UTC-12 and another UTC+13, whereby different places on earth are actually 25 hours apart all the time, and where current dates may for a while be two days off from each other.

In answer to another question, yes, 24 Mar 1700 was followed by 25 Mar 1701 in Britain and its dominions, and similarly for other years and other places where a new-year date was not January 1. Even worse, since Scotland re-adopted January 1 as New Year in 1600, 31 Dec 1603 in both Scotland and England was followed by 1 Jan 1604 (Scotland)/1 Jan 1603(England). This continued through 28 Feb 1604(Scotland)/28 Feb 1603(England), which was followed by 29 Feb 1604(Scotland)/1 Mar 1603(England). Twenty three days later it was 23 Mar 1604(Scotland)/24 Mar 1603(England), followed by 24 Mar 1604(Scotland)/25 Mar 1604(England), and England and Scotland were off each other by one day until 30 Dec 1604(Scotland)/31 Dec 1604(England) was followed by 31 Dec 1604(Scotland)/1 Jan 1604(England) and then 1 Jan 1605(Scotland)/2 Jan 1604(England). Then 28 Feb 1605(Scotland)/29 Feb 1604(England) was followed by 1 Mar 1605(Scotland)/1 Mar 1604(England). They would rejoin dates entirely on 25 Mar 1605, which would last through 31 Dec 1607. This mess, lasting 449 days out of every 1461 days, would recur every four years as the two would observe their leap days at the opposite sides of the calendar year. The same thing happened between nations observing different new years, but was further complicated by the ten-day (later eleven-day) discrepancy between the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Yes, I am quite sure everyone must have found it abysmally annoying, especially merchants doing foreign trade. I'm only surprised they were willing to tolerate it for so long. Evensteven (talk) 02:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

1752, not 1753[edit]

According to the UK national archives and according to "The Oxford Companion to the Year" (ISBN 0-19-2142131-3), England moved new year to 1 January in 1752, not 1753.

I'm changing it back to 1752. -- Claus Tondering Oz1cz 15:11, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Also, if I understand the Wikipedia article on the United Kingdom correctly, the United Kingdom wasn't formed until the year 1800, so using the terms "the United Kingdom" and "the UK" is really an anachronism. -- Claus Tondering Oz1cz 16:15, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Isn't this just a result of the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar? Surely they celebrated 1 January Julian before the shift. Saying January 1 wasn't the start of the year before this is extremely misleading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:27, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The correct timing was indeed 1752, by Act of Parliament enacted in 1750. The United Kingdom was formed in 1707, not 1800, and therefore was in existence when this act was passed. The thrones of England and Scotland were joined in 1603 when King James VI of Scotland became James I of England, and subsequent kings were all kings of both England and Scotland also. However, the kingdoms themselves were not made one until the formation of the UK in 1707.

The switch to the January 1 New Year was not automatic upon acceptance of the Gregorian calendar, but was made concurrent with that acceptance under the act of 1750. New Year's dates other than January 1 were themselves a deviation from the ancient and medieval use in the Julian calendar, so changes to the date of the New Year were not contingent upon the calendar itself. Besides, the numbering of years "AD" was not widespread until surprisingly recently, even given its first suggestions by Dionysius Exiguus in the 500s and the Venerable Bede in the 700s, so changing the date of the new year did not much affect calendar usage until the reversions to January 1 in the 17th and 18th centuries. While in other nations also, January 1 was re-established at the same time that the Gregorian calendar was adopted, witness the Scottish reversion to January 1 in 1600 even while the Julian calendar continued there for another 152 years. Evensteven (talk) 22:38, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Wales village[edit]

I remember seeing a documentary this year on UK TV about a village in Wales that still celebrated New Year in March; does anyone know the name of the village?--Gyouseino 00:02, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

New Year vs. new year[edit]

I've noticed this article switches between New Year and new year in a number of places. Shouldn't all references to New Year be capitalised? Red minx 15:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Capitalization is the bane of American writers! Some pages look like they were written in German. If I remember the Wiki manual of style, the subject of the article is capitalized throughout. If it's an ordinary statement about the new year, no capitalization: I will begin dieting in the new year. New Year's Day is the proper name of the holiday and should be capitalized, just like Christmas, Hallowe'en, Labor Day, etc. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 14:41, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Historical dates of new year and the Julian Calendar[edit]

I think there's a lot of confusion about this, which I'm not totally able to clear up. The page about the Gregorian calendar, there is evidence (Samuel Pepys' diary) that English people believed Jan 1 to be the start of the year. I think there's too much bland acceptance that 25 March was New Year's Day (in England at least). This would make a rather strange calendar in practice. Can anyone produce a calendar that shows this??? Is this rather a minor tradition existing alongside the calendar year - like our current financial/fiscal year - that has been preserved by antiquarian, eccentric interest to the extent that in presentation of the issue it distorts the reality of the case? Doesn't it seem to be true that the Roman tradition of starting the year on Jan 1 has continued to the present day?--Jack Upland (talk) 10:24, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Since then I have read the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750article which shows that this was an official calendar but not in "common usage".--Jack Upland (talk) 21:00, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
As an official calendar, I'm sure it must have been in "common usage", but in a formal way. It is quite possible that informal usage preferred Jan 1. Europe was quite conversant with both changes of the New Year, and with differing new years in different locations. Since they had to deal with those complexities regularly, they may well have felt comfortable with treating them casually according to preference, when they were able. Evensteven (talk) 02:08, 6 July 2014 (UTC)


I understand that Bede began the New Year sometime in September, but I will try to find the reference. This means that some of his dates for events happen in a different year with a different to that which we would call it.Streona (talk) 10:44, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

For the indiction in Septemeber see R. L. Poole, "The chronology of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica and the councils of 679-680", Journal of Theological Studies, 20 (1919) 24–40; reprinted in Reginald Lane Poole, Studies in chronology and history (1934).
For Christmas in December see Wilhelm Levinson, "The beginning of the year of the Incarnation in Bede's Historia ecclesiastica", Appendix VI in England and the continent in the eighth century (1946) 265-279. — Joe Kress (talk) 01:21, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
The ancient Christian liturgical year always and everywhere began on September 1, the date of the new year of the Indiction. This was still the case in Bede's time, and none of the subsequent changes to the liturgical year had yet happened in his time. In Bede's time, it was generally the educated monks of the church who served as keepers of the calendar for their locales, as was indeed the case with Bede himself, so the liturgical calendar was de facto the civil calendar also. Even modern researchers place Bede's death on Thursday, May 26, 735, though while we know he was live in the afternoon of Wednesday the 25th and past sunset, we do not know whether he died before or after midnight. However, the liturgical day always began with Vespers, the service conducted around the time of sunset, and he was living then. That made the day (liturgically speaking) already Thursday the 26th, and therefore likewise civilly. Midnight was not a consideration at the time. Similarly, Bede was among the first to count years as AD, a practice that did not really catch on for many centuries. As such, the indiction was the primary tool for him to use to ascertain the year, as indeed it still is for historians of those times. The September 1 date for the change of the year of the indiction was not the same as the January 1 New Year date of the Julian calendar, but there was no commonly-used year number at the time, so the January 1 new year was irrelevant to counting long times. Historians have long been required to convert years by means of the indiction, and then to adjust for the January 1 "new year" depending on the time of year. Evensteven (talk) 00:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Lao New Year[edit]

It is Feb 7th 2008 and today we are celebrating the Lao New Year. It is not in April. You may want to research that more since there may be a discrepency. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DeFKnoL (talkcontribs) 19:20, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

March 1 or March 15?[edit]

This article says, The ancient Roman calendar started the year on 1 March. But it also says, The year... began on the day when consuls first entered office — fixed by law at 15 March in 222 BC (until it changed to January 1 in 153 BC). Which is right? Were both right at different points in time? If so, when did it change? - Shaheenjim (talk) 14:11, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

The old Roman calendar underwent revisions and development of its own while it was in use, over some 700 years or so. In its earlier stages, it didn't even count time during most of the winter. There were only ten months, the first being March, then through to December, although the names for July (for Julius Caesar) and August (for Augustus Caesar) were later changes. This left September through December as the seventh through tenth months, their names deriving from the Latin words septum (7), octum (8), novum (9), and decum (10). The annual times, lengths, and seasonal placements of these months were pretty close to what we know today, but agricultural activity slowed between the winter solstice and spring equinox enough so that many of those days were left untallied. So, March 1 began the calendar year.
Later on, January and February were created as new months to backfill the empty winter, but March 1 stayed on as the new year, and the new months were the 11th and 12th of the year. It seems that by 222 BC, the new year had been legally changed to March 15th, and then again to January 1st in 153 BC. The New Year was definitely defined by Roman law, and that law could be changed, so New Year was not consistently defined throughout the lifetime of use of the Roman calendar. That new year definition was of importance, though, because it not only marked the date on which consuls and other officials took office (whose terms were generally one year), but it was also the date on which the Roman Senate convened for the new year, marking the senators' term of office also. It is said that in 46 BC, when Julius Caesar was working to get the new (Julian) calendar adopted, that he put forth the idea of March 25th as the new "New Year", preferring the time of the spring equinox, which fell at that date that year. His idea was rejected by the Senate however, and January 1 remained the legal civil New Year for many centuries to come, beyond the end of the empire.
The definition of the Julian calendar contained no method for counting years, however. Year counts were independent of the calendar, and marked the time of the emperors' reigns, restarting at a count of 1 with each new ruler. For taxation, the Indiction defined a period of fifteen years to govern various applications of law, counting years as 1 to 15, then back to 1. Indictions were at first not counted themselves, but gradually came to be identified also. This is the most useful way historians have of pinpointing a year, as it is the most consistently followed and regular pattern lasting over many centuries. Thus, the civil New Year was of small concern with regard to the numbering of years, while the Indiction was primary for that purpose. Evensteven (talk) 02:00, 6 July 2014 (UTC)


1 January or January 1. Take your pick but be consistent. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 14:36, 29 December 2008 (UTC)


Dates of the various new years should be updated to reflect the year 2009. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 14:52, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

... most-watched event on television worldwide last year.

Is someone going to be around to change statements like this every year? Instead of "last year", the year should be specified. SlowJog (talk) 00:00, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Byzantine New Year[edit]

Apparently this is still celebrated in Amalfi, Italy, and was set on 1 September. Any sources or explanation for the changes? (from the Julian 1 January system to this one, and from it to the current Greek one?) - (talk) 02:26, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

From the year of the Indiction: a new year began on September 1. This ran concurrently with the January 1 civil new year in the ancient empires, as the Indiction was a basis of taxation rather than civil operation. The ancient Christian church adopted September 1 as the start of its annual liturgical cycle, which became the source for a later change of the civil new year, and civil (not religious) new year observations. Evensteven (talk) 00:36, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Syntax, etc.[edit]

The article has some major problems in simple syntax and legibility. For instance, the entry "According to the Christian tradition, on January 1 coincides with the circumcision of Christ (eight days after birth), when the name of Jesus (Luke (II: 21))," which just seems to end in mid-thought and, immediately preceding, "January still remains a symbol of New Year's celebration," which just doesn't make sense. And, as already mentioned, several "this year" mentions that might already be out of date. PurpleChez (talk) 13:45, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

As it is English syntax you are talking about please say "grammar" as it is not about computer programmingMod mmg (talk) 01:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

FYI, the term syntax pertains to natural languages as well, and predates the invention of computers. ~ Ningauble (talk) 23:09, 1 March 2010 (UTC)


I would like to seek out you opinions on removing the following line "...the date that is considered the most festive." I believe there is no reason for it to be there Mod mmg (talk) 09:25, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Update: Removing it now.Mod mmg (talk)

I told you a million times not to exagerate[edit]

"Millions converge on Times Square each year" Millions is a LOT of people! Everywhere else I read that the crowd has been estimated at "up to a million". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:13, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

In fact its not difficult to estimate the size of possible crowds using google earth. Times sq is essentially an x shaped crossroads.If people filled the legs of the x to a total distance of ten blocks ..highly unlikely but not impossible the available space would be 2500 (ten blocks) times 2(roads) times 180 (total width of two roads each 85 feet wide space equals 900,000sq feet minus emergency police lanes etc 200000 leaves 700000divided by four sq feet for one persons space allows 175000 people maximum.I doubt if this figure has ever been reached probably the largest crowds have been about 70000.The actual areas of the real times sq open places could not hold more than about 20000 maximum The way the NY authorities and US media continuously exaggerate the size of these crowds is really most embarrassing .Its time NYPD made a serious correct estimate of the size of these crowds One new years it was clear on CNN there were only a few thousand in Times SQ itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

average space occupied by an individual in a crowd is two square feet, not four. Not familiar with the American block system, but Times Square is not square - it's between 42nd and 48th street one way and between 7th and 8th avenue the other. Lastly, there's a masssive amount of space that is not on either of the roads which cross, and thus not accounted for in your calculation - most authorities give the area as close to 1.4 million square feet. (talk) 03:19, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Sinhalese New Year[edit]

"Sinhalese New Year" section says that astrologer select the time of New Year bigging but this giving wrong impression. Actually Sinhalese New year time is the exact time of Sidereal astrology Sun moves from Pisces to Aries. D dasun (talk) 13:44, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Malayali new year[edit]

In the article, it is written that "Malayali New Year (Vishu) is celebrated in the South Indian state of Kerala" during mid April. This is factually incorrect. As per the definition, "New Year is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count is incremented". The malayalam calendar's year count DOES NOT get incremented on Vishu. The year gets incremented in the malayalam month of "Chingam", which normally falls during August or September in the Gregorian calendar. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rk662003 (talkcontribs) 09:53, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


Links in the "Adoption of 1 January" section don't have spaces after them, this results in the words: Veniceuntil, Russiafrom, erain, equinoxday. Fixed but it got reverted. Ikmxx (talk) 21:32, 19 February 2013 (UTC)


The table reports Venice adopted 1 january new year on 1522, immediately below the table it's written that "1 March was the first day of the numbered year in the Republic of Venice until its destruction in 1797". Either of the two piece of information is incorrect or further explanation is needed.

Dubiousness of the start of Roman Catholic liturgical year[edit]

My recent edits have removed a "dubious tag" (dated Nov 2011) from the "Christian liturgical year" section of the article, which was questioning the Latin Rite's definition of the beginning of Advent as "4:00 pm on the Saturday preceding the fourth Sunday prior to 25 December (between November 26 and December 2)". I doubt there is any question of the date of Advent Sunday, and I cannot speak to exactly 4 PM. However, the practice of beginning the Christian liturgical day at sunset is extremely ancient, borrowed from Judaism in fact. The evening Vespers service was created to be the first service of the new liturgical day. And so it is still practiced, as it always has been, in the Eastern Orthodox Church. So it was also practiced in the Roman church, for 1000 years before the East-West Schism, and for well after. I believe the Roman Catholic Church still views Vespers in this way also. The common practices of modern church liturgical life probably do not highlight or call attention to this fact in the Roman Catholic Church as much as in the Orthodox Church, but as far as I know, there is no discontinuity between them. Therefore, the evening of the (civil) Saturday before Advent Sunday is technically to be counted as Sunday when one speaks of liturgical matters and calendars. Assuming the Latin Rite is explicit about 4PM, then that is how the Roman Catholic Church defines it. The Orthodox today usually use something like 6 PM instead, but it's not an absolute thing there. In either case, though, the "evening before"-ness is very far from dubious. For verification, perhaps the Latin Rite itself could be consulted? I don't have one myself. Evensteven (talk) 00:52, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Historical English new years[edit]

The second paragraph of the "Historical European new year dates" section and its subsequent Christmas style description are in conflict (and were before I made recent changes). The latter implies the use of Christmas style beginning before the 13th century (but evidently after 1066 and probably William I). The former neglects mention of that, and speaks only of March 25th, which certainly was around later. I don't happen to know the actual historical details at present, but some sourced info appears to be needed. Evensteven (talk) 22:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

UK v. KGB[edit]

Although the documents that created the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 did use the phrase 'United Kingdom' in one instance, that was an adjectival usage - like "the united States of America" in the American Declaration of Independence. It was not meant to be taken as the name of the country.

Rather, prior to 1707, Scotland and England (which formally annexed Wales during the reign of Henry VIII), were separate nations with the same monarch. In 1707, they merged into the semi-federal Kingdom of Great Britain. On 1 January 1801, Ireland was added to the union and the name of the country changed again, to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Prior to the change of calendar in 1752, Scotland observed New Year's Day on 1 January while England observed it on 25 March. This difference did not change when the Kingdom of Great Britain was created in 1707 as Scotland's legal system remained (and remains) separate from the rest of the country, as does its system of education, and a few other things. That is why the Kingdom of Great Britain was, and the United Kingdom *is*, "semi-federal". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:9:6500:3060:1813:67F6:4766:10A7 (talk) 03:35, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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