New Year's Day

New Year's Day Quick Facts - FR

AKA NameJour de l'An
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 in France as Jour de l'An or La Saint-Sylvestre, is a public holiday that marks the beginning of a new calendar year. It is a day of reflection and anticipation, where individuals consider the past year and look forward to the future. The day's importance lies not only in its symbolism of transition and renewal, but also in its cultural and social significance, encompassing traditions which have been passed down through generations.

The observance of New Year's Day as the first day of the year dates back to ancient Rome, under the Julian calendar which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. Later, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian calendar, making January 1st a widespread standard for the start of the new year. In France, this day carries important customs and traditions which contribute to the significant cultural fabric of the nation. Key aspects of the French New Year include reflection, celebration, and time spent with loved ones, often marked by festive meals and exchange of greetings and gifts.

New Year's Day in France is typically observed with social gatherings, festive meals, and in some areas, traditional processions or parades. A notable French tradition is the papillote, a wrapped message or prediction for the upcoming year, which is ignited and must be read before it burns out. Many also partake in Le Réveillon de Saint-Sylvestre, a lavish late-night feast, that extends into the early hours of January 1st. New Year's Day marks the end of the holiday season in France, following Christmas and the Epiphany, occurring, as in the rest of the world, on the first day of the Gregorian calendar, January 1st.

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Facts & quotes 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.
  • The day after New Year's (January 1) is known as le Jour de l'An.
  • An interesting French New Year's Day tradition is the Papillottes in the Rhône region. These are chocolates or confectioneries wrapped in shiny paper that makes a mini-firecracker sound when opened.

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

  • Make new resolutions for the upcoming year and let go of what happened in the previous one.
  • Participate in la bûche de Noël, the tradition of eating a log-shaped cake which represents an ancient ritual of burning a log in fire on Christmas eve.
  • Watch the annual Champs-Élysées New Year's Eve Celebration, which features live music, entertainment, and fireworks over the Champs-Élysées in Paris

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