New Year's Day

New Year's Day Quick Facts - NG

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2024 Date1 January 2024
2025 Date1 January 2025

New Year's Day

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New Year’s Day is a universal holiday that denotes the beginning of a new calendar year. Based on the Gregorian calendar, it is observed across various cultures and nations with different customs and traditions. For many Nigerians, it presents an opportunity for renewal, hope, and promise. It is also a time to lay down new plans, make resolutions, and engage in reflection about the past.

Historically, New Year observances can be traced back to Roman times when it was dedicated to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. Nigeria, like most other countries, adopted the Gregorian calendar during colonial times, and since then, New Year's Day has held considerable significance for the majority of the population. The day is marked as an opportunity for Nigerians to express gratitude for the past year and to establish new goals and aspirations for the year ahead.

In Nigeria, the observance of New Year's Day is typically marked by religious, social, and cultural festivities. Many Nigerians start the day with church services, offering prayers of thanksgiving and hope for the coming year. Social gatherings, music concerts, firework displays, and communal feasts are common ways people celebrate the new year. It's a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate. Like the rest of the world, Nigeria welcomes the New Year on January 1st, following the Gregorian calendar. As in any other place, it represents a fresh start, a new chapter, and an opportunity for positive change.

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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.
  • There's a tradition of making noise at midnight, with fireworks, firecrackers, and car horns to scare away evil spirits and start the year fresh.
  • In Nigeria, many people believe that what you do on the first day of the year will influence your actions for the rest of the year.

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

  • Make new resolutions for the upcoming year and let go of what happened in the previous one.
  • Participate in the Igue festival, a traditional event held in Benin City to celebrate the new year.
  • Participate in the tradition of first-footing, which involves visiting friends and family with gifts or food as a way to bring good luck for the coming year.

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