You might not be surprised that not everyone celebrates the new year on January 1st. For example, the Chinese New Year is widely celebrated around the world, including Ireland, and probably forms part of your early February planning! Some of you may even be familiar with the Jewish New Year: Rosh Hashanah, as it tends to happen near the beginning of the new school year in September/October. Here are a few other New Year celebrations that don’t happen on January 1st.
- Nowruz is the Iranian new year and is celebrated in mid-March around 19th/20th. It is celebrated by Zoroastrian and Baha’i communities.
- Puthandu is the Tamil new year and is generally celebrated on 14th April. While mainly celebrated in Sri Lanka, it is celebrated in many South Asian countries where there are Tamil Diasporas.
- Raʼs as-Sanah al-Hijrīyah is the Islamic New Year, which is difficult to pin down to our calendars. The Muslim calendar is a lunar one and thus every year, the Islamic New Year changes on our calendars (although it is always the 1st day of Muharram)
- The Eastern Orthodox Church New Year is celebrated on January 14th in countries such as Russia, Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine, pretty much in the same way the new year is celebrated on 1st January. The reason for 14th January is that this is the first day of the old Julian calendar.
- Enkutatash is the Ethiopian new year, which is celebrated in September marking the end of their long rain season and the fields are covered in yellow daisies.
There are many other New Year celebrations that don’t take place on January 1st. Why not explore some others?