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New Year's Day in India

New Year’s Day according to the Gregorian calendar (January 1) is one of the most popular occasions in India. Many people throughout India celebrate this festive occasion with loved ones or in large gatherings.

Fireworks blended over large clock face

New Year's Day on January 1 in the Gregorian calendar is celebrated in many countries including India.

©iStockphoto.com/scampdesigns

What Do People do?

People in all parts of India dress colorfully and indulge in fun filled activities such as singing, playing games, dancing, and attending parties. Night clubs, movie theatres, resorts, restaurants and amusement parks are filled with people of all ages.

People greet and wish each other Happy New Year. Exchanging messages, greeting cards and gifts are part and parcel of the New Year celebration. The media covers many New Year events which are showcased on prime channels for most of the day. People who decide to stay indoors resort to these New Year shows for entertainment and fun. The age-old tradition of planning new resolutions for the coming year is a common sight. A few of the most popular resolutions include losing weight, developing good habits, and working hard.

Larger cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai organize live concerts which are attended by Bollywood stars and other well-known personalities. Large crowds gather to attend such shows, while some individuals prefer to celebrate with their close friends and family members. The fun filled occasion is considered a great opportunity to get closer to the loved ones in your life and to revive contact with lost friends. The idea is to wave goodbye to the year gone-by and welcome the New Year in the hope that it will invite truckloads of happiness and joy in everyone’s life.

Public Life

New Year’s Day on January 1 in the Gregorian calendar is a restricted holiday in India. Individuals can take a limited number of restricted holidays but government offices and most businesses remain open and public transport remains available. Most people are known to report late to work on January 1 due to late night celebrations.

The security is tightened in prime cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore as incidents of molestation and fights have been rising the last few years. The arrival of foreign tourists is at its peak during New Year’s Day on January 1, especially in locations such as Goa which is known to be a favorite tourist destination.

Background

The New Year signifies that the time has arrived to bid farewell to the by-gone year and to welcome the New Year. Traditionally, the New Year was celebrated on the first of March every year. However, this date was switched to January 1 as it is considered to have a more religious significance. With the growth of the western culture across the globe, New Year’s Day on January 1 in the Gregorian calendar has been one of India’s many celebrations. There are different opinions as to when New Year’s Day that falls on January 1 in the Gregorian calendar was first celebrated in India. Some say that it was observed when the British colonized India while others say that its popularity bloomed only after the 1940s.

It is important to note that different calendars are used among different groups in India so the New Year is celebrated at different times, based when it is marked in these calendars. This article is about New Year’s Day in the Gregorian calendar, which is celebrated worldwide and falls on January 1. Other New Year’s dates include Diwali (Hindu calendar).

Symbols

As such there are no materialistic symbols linked with this event in India however one gets to experience the vibrant colors and joyful atmosphere filled with parties, prayers and social feasts. People across India escalate their happiness with good music, dance, crackers and lighting.

About New Year's Day in other countries

Read more about New Year's Day.

New Year's Day Observances

Holiday currently only shown for years 2010–2019.

Note: Individuals can take a limited number of restricted holidays but government offices and most businesses remain open. This system gives individuals the flexibility to take time off to celebrate a holiday within India's vast religious and cultural society.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010FriJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2011SatJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2012SunJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2013TueJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2014WedJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2015ThuJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2016FriJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2017SunJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2018MonJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday
2019TueJan 1New Year's DayRestricted Holiday

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