New Year festival, any of the social, cultural, and religious observances worldwide that celebrate the beginning of the new year. Such festivals are among the oldest and the most universally observed.
New Year’s Day is a festival observed in most of the world on 1 January, the first day of the year in the modern Gregorian calendar. 1 January is also New Year’s Day on the Julian calendar, but this is not the same day as the Gregorian one.[a] Whilst most solar calendars (like the Gregorian and Julian) begin the year regularly at or near the northern winter solstice, cultures that observe a lunisolar or lunar calendar celebrate their New Year (such as the Chinese New Year and the Islamic New Year) at less fixed points relative to the solar year.
The earliest known record of a New Year festival dates from about 2000 BCE in Mesopotamia, where in Babylonia the new year (Akitu) began with the new moon after the spring equinox (mid-March) and in Assyria with the new moon nearest the autumn equinox (mid-September). For the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians the year began with the autumn equinox (September 21), and for the early Greeks it began with the winter solstice (December 21). On the Roman republican calendar the year began on March 1, but after 153 BCE the official date was January 1, which was continued in the Julian calendar of 46 BCE.
Ugadi or Yugadi, also known as Samvatsarādi ( lit. ‘Beginning of the Year’), is New Year’s Day according to the Hindu calendar and is celebrated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka in India.
The Pacific nation of Kiribati was the first country to greet the new year, with the clock ticking into 2023 one hour ahead of neighbors including New Zealand.