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Winter Holidays and Celebrations: New Year

Learn about different holidays celebrated around the world!

Currier & Ives Happy New Year lithograph

New Year's Celebrations

Depending on one's culture, New Year Celebrations take place during different parts of the year. Most of the western world follows the Gregorian Calendar and thus New Year's celebrations take place the night before on December 31. 

In western culture, New Year's is celebrated with parties the night before, fireworks, couples sharing a kiss at midnight, and the creation of resolutions. In America, the dropping of the Times Square ball is iconic and New Year Day is filled with college football games.

Other Common New Year's Celebrations that take place are:

  • Diwali: Based on the Hindu Lunar calendar and usually celebrated between mid-October and mid-November. Also known as a festival of lights, it celebrates the triumph of good over evil and starting anew.
  • Chinese Lunar New Year: Follows the lunar cycle and typically falls in February and lasts for 15 days. It is celebrated by other neighboring countries and is a celebration of the coming of Spring.
  • Muharram (Islamic New Year): Based on the Islamic calendar and can fall between August and October. Muharram is considered the second holiest month after Ramadan and is one of the four sacred months in Islam.
  • Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year): Based on the Jewish Calendar, usually takes place within the month of September.