New Year's Day

New Year's Day Quick Facts - DE

AKA NameNeujahr
HashtagsCompiled on#NewYear2024
Related Hashtags#HappyNewYear, #1
2024 Date1 January 2024
2025 Date1 January 2025

New Year's Day

New Year's Day in
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New Year's Day, known as Neujahr in Germany, is a widely recognized and celebrated public holiday marking the start of a new calendar year. As an observance of reflection and resolution, it offers individuals the opportunity to contemplate the prior year's achievements and mistakes while setting fresh goals for the upcoming year. This holiday is also a time for gatherings and festivities, with values of unity, hope, and renewal central to its celebration.

The historical roots of New Year's Day can be traced back to ancient Roman times, where it was dedicated to Janus - the god of beginnings, transitions, and endings. From the late Middle Ages onwards, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar established January 1st as the universal commencement of the New Year. In Germany, the holiday has distinctive traditions and customs attached to it. For instance, Bleigießen, or lead pouring, is a popular New Year's eve custom where melted lead is poured into cold water to predict the future from the resulting shapes.

On New Year's Day in Germany, it is typical for people to spend time with family and friends, participate in outdoor activities, or attend concerts and events. Firework displays and parties are popular on New Year's Eve, leaving January 1st as a day of relaxation. The exchanging of Neujahrskarten, or New Year's cards, is traditional, as is the giving of marzipan pigs as symbols of good luck. As elsewhere in the world, New Year's Day in Germany occurs on the first day of the year, January 1st.

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Facts about New Year's Day

  • Worldwide Baby New Year is the most common symbol associated with this holiday. He is a toddler dressed in a diaper, hat, and sash bearing the numbers of the new year. The myth states that he matures into an old man during the course of the year. On December 31st, he hands his hat and sash to the new Baby New Year.
  • In the early Roman calendar, New Year was celebrated on March 1st. The new celebration of New Year on January 1st started in Rome in 153 BC. The New Year was moved to January because it was a month when two newly elected Roman consuls began their tenure, which reflected the beginning of civil year.
  • Traditionally, a special church service, called a watchnight service, takes place on New Year’s Eve. This tradition started in the late 1700s and involves singing, praying and thanking God for the outgoing year and seeking blessings for the New Year.
  • Around two minutes before midnight, Germans often tune in to listen to the same ten-minute long English-language skit from 1920, Dinner for One, on TV. It has become the most frequently repeated TV program ever.

Top things to do in Germany for New Year's Day

  • Make new resolutions for the upcoming year and let go of what happened in the previous one.
  • Make Neujahrskuchen or New Year's Cakes made from sweet dough, which is believed to bring good luck for the coming year.
  • Attend the Köln Karneval Held in the city of Cologne. It is one of the most famous Fasching celebrations in Germany.

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