Celebrating New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day is the year’s first day, and it falls exactly a week after Christmas Day of the year before. It is a public holiday in countries that follow the Gregorian calendar, except for Israel.
Therefore, it is the world’s most widely publicly-observed holiday. New Year’s Day is big in the UK, and there are a lot of events to look forward to.
Most people work the day before New Year’s Day because it is not a holiday, but some companies have decided to make it a holiday.
However, for those who choose to work, it is normally relaxed, and it is a day when employers usually are more lenient on their staff and let them go home early.
What is New Year’s Day in the United Kingdom All About?
A lot of people welcome the new year as the old one goes out, and they do it with a party. That is how they do it today, but in the past, it was different.
New Year’s Day was first observed on March 15, based on the old Roman Calendar. Ever since January and February were added as one of the attempts to clear the calendar, they decided to add them by the end of the year.
The first day of the year was established as of January 1st in 153 BCE, and 2 Roman consuls decided this. January was originally named after the Roman god Janus. He had two faces, one looked forward, and one looked back. This is a very fitting name for the first month of every year.
A couple of Christian feast dates were for marking the New Year in the middle ages, but calendars normally continue displaying the months and columns from January to December.
Many people see the new year as an opportunity to make their resolutions, like exercising more, eating healthier, etc.
The setting of New Year’s resolution began 4,000 years ago during the time of the Babylonians, but they began in mid-March. Based on the research of historians, returning a rusty rake that you borrowed was the first resolution on the Babylonian list, together with a timeless promise to pay their debts.
How to Celebrate New Year’s Day in the United Kingdom and Things to Do
The majority of places in the UK have spots where crowds can gather for major events. In 1878, people first went to St. Paul’s Cathedral to hear the new bells for the New Year. Since then, crowds grew and became more festive; the cathedral authorities tried to stop them but failed.
It was after World War II that the gathering in London moved to Trafalgar square. Since 2004, the gathering has taken place in the Thames bank to see the London Eye.
During the old days, the New Year began as a custom known as ‘first footing’ that was meant to bring people good luck for the year that is to come. When midnight passed, and January started, people waited behind their doors for a dark-haired person to come. This person had gifts, bread, or some salt, or some coin, or some whiskey, or some coal. All of these bring good fortune.
In Worcestershire, the first footer’s role was passed on to the first carol singer in the new year. In Yorkshire, they do not fuss as much whether the person who arrived has dark hair or not, but should be a male. A red-head who tries to go through the threshold first is considered bad luck for the whole year.
Every year, there is a fireworks display on the South Bank of London, and it has become longer and more impressive. There are millions of viewers that tune in to watch the spectacle, while the brave ones join the pilgrimage in the center of London on a cold night in December.
They now televise the national countdown, and it is normally in the same program that carries the fireworks displays. Huge screens are set up in all major cities, so the nation can celebrate and welcome the New Year as one.
How New Year’s Day in the United Kingdom is Celebrated
New Year’s Day is one of the major public holidays in UK, and probably necessary. It is a day in the year when a lot of people suffer from lack of sleep and probably a hangover. Almost everyone stays awake until midnight the night before as they welcome the new year, and some even stay awake later than that.
Since New Year’s Day comes after a heavy night of celebration, it is only fair for people to stay in their homes. They can be with their family and friends on this day.
Venues and Special Events for Celebrating New Year’s Day in the United Kingdom
Hogmanay in Edinburgh
This is a big street party to welcome the new year. There are three whole days of events and music, which are all dedicated to the new year. There is a beautiful festival atmosphere, especially when the biggest bands and DJs are playing. The street party is for all ages, and it is not intimidating for anyone to join.
If you want to be in a unique place on New Year’s Eve, you can go here. Allendale is a small town with a tradition involving residents carrying whiskey barrels of burning tar in the town’s streets. They ignite the barrels by midnight. It is a really fun celebration for anyone.
The UK is a beautiful place to be during the New Year, and you should go.