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New Year's Day in Ireland

Quick Facts

New Year's Day is the first day of the year. It is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

Local names

NameLanguage
New Year's DayEnglish
Lá CailleIrish
NeujahrstagGerman

New Year's Day 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Day 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015
List of dates for other years

New Year's Day (Lá Caille or Lá Bliana Nua) is the first day of the Gregorian calendar used in Ireland. People generally spend the day quietly with family members or close friends. However, there are New Year's parades in some areas.

Friends Sitting Down At A Dinner Party Chatting

A family celebrates a New Year's Day meal.

©iStockphoto.com/Catherine Yeulet

What do people do?

Many people spend New Year's Day quietly with family members and close friends. This is particularly true if they attended New Year's Eve celebrations that lasted into the early hours of January 1. Others go walking in the hills or along beaches to mark the start of the New Year. New Year's dips are organized in many coastal towns. These are short swims in the cold waters of the Irish Sea or Atlantic Ocean.

New Year's Day parades are held in some villages, towns and cities. A large parade is held in Dublin. Marching bands, musicians and other groups walk through the city's streets. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Parades in smaller towns and villages may concentrate on local events, anniversaries in the coming year, or be more religious or spiritual.

Public life

Public life is generally quiet on New Year's Day. Banks, post offices and many other businesses and organizations are closed. Some stores and pubs are open, although they may open later and close earlier than usual. Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. There may be some local disruption to traffic if roads are closed for New Year's parades. If January 1 falls on a Sunday, the public holiday is moved to Monday, January 2.

Background

Winter celebrations have been held in Ireland for thousands of years. These marked the end of the fall (autumn) harvest season and the return of the sun after the darkest part of the year. People celebrated by holding feasts, social events and lighting fires to bring light into the dark.

New Year's Day was recognized as a church holiday in the Holidays (Employees) Act 1961 in the Republic of Ireland. It became a public holiday following the Holidays (Employees) Act 1973. The public holiday was first observed in 1974.

About New Year's Day in other countries

Read more about New Year's Day.

New Year's Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
MonJan 11990New Year's DayNational holiday
TueJan 11991New Year's DayNational holiday
WedJan 11992New Year's DayNational holiday
FriJan 11993New Year's DayNational holiday
SatJan 11994New Year's DayNational holiday
SunJan 11995New Year's DayNational holiday
MonJan 11996New Year's DayNational holiday
WedJan 11997New Year's DayNational holiday
ThuJan 11998New Year's DayNational holiday
FriJan 11999New Year's DayNational holiday
SatJan 12000New Year's DayNational holiday
MonJan 12001New Year's DayNational holiday
TueJan 12002New Year's DayNational holiday
WedJan 12003New Year's DayNational holiday
ThuJan 12004New Year's DayNational holiday
SatJan 12005New Year's DayNational holiday
SunJan 12006New Year's DayNational holiday
MonJan 12007New Year's DayNational holiday
TueJan 12008New Year's DayNational holiday
ThuJan 12009New Year's DayNational holiday
FriJan 12010New Year's DayNational holiday
SatJan 12011New Year's DayNational holiday
SunJan 12012New Year's DayNational holiday
TueJan 12013New Year's DayNational holiday
WedJan 12014New Year's DayNational holiday
ThuJan 12015New Year's DayNational holiday
FriJan 12016New Year's DayNational holiday
SunJan 12017New Year's DayNational holiday
MonJan 12018New Year's DayNational holiday
TueJan 12019New Year's DayNational holiday
WedJan 12020New Year's DayNational holiday

Related holiday

Other holidays in January 2014 in Ireland

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