(CNN) — The New Year is the time when many people make resolutions to break bad habits and start better routines. And it is also believed that most of the traditions ensure good luck for the coming year.
In many parts of the United States, black-eyed beans are eaten on New Year’s Day for good luck, while in Spain and other Latin American countries, people customarily eat 12 grapes to the sound of the midnight bells.
But since when is the New Year celebrated?
The earliest known New Year celebrations were in Mesopotamia, dating back to 2000 BC. C. The early Romans used March 1 as New Year’s Day, while other cultures used the autumnal equinox or winter solstice to mark the new year.
For its part, in 1582 the Roman Catholic Church adopted the Gregorian calendar, which marks January 1 as the new year.
January is named after Janus, the god with two faces, one looking forward and the other backward.
The places where the New Year is celebrated in another time
Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year is celebrated in many Asian countries and is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese lunisolar calendar. This January 22, 2023 begins the year 4721 and marks the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar. It is the Year of the Rabbit.
Lunar New Year is celebrated during the second new moon after the winter solstice, usually between January 21 and February 20 on the Gregorian calendar.
Lunar New Year festivities begin on the first day of the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar and continue until the 15th day of the lunar month, when the moon is full.
Chinese legend holds that Buddha asked all the animals to find him on New Year’s Day and named a year after each of the twelve animals that came.
The animals of the Chinese calendar are the dog, the pig/boar, the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep, the monkey and the rooster.
The Hindu holiday of Diwali is the biggest and brightest national holiday in India. But Indians from all over the world come together to celebrate the festival of lights.
As a celebration of the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, light is an important physical and spiritual symbol of the holiday. Diwali is as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians, and marks the start of a new financial year for Indian businesses around the world.
For many Indians, Diwali honors Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. They light up her houses and open their doors and windows to welcome her. Apart from Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs also celebrate Diwali in countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Singapore. The legends and customs that accompany Diwali celebrations vary between religions and regions.
Just as spring is a time of rebirth, the Persian New Year is a time to celebrate new life. Nowruz is celebrated on the vernal equinox, which is March 20.
This celebration of spring is filled with symbolism around rebirth and renewal, because spring is a time when life returns after a long, cold winter, said Yasmin Khan, a London-based human rights activist and author of “The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen” and “Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen.” These two cookbooks by Khan inspire and provide a window into the cultures and stories of the people of the Middle East through food.
Megan Marples and Emanuella Grinberg contributed to this report.