Is New Year’s Day a Public Holiday in the UK?
New Year’s Day in the UK is a public holiday according to Holidays 2019. As most people celebrate New Year’s Day in the UK, this day is given the status of a public holiday. Although employers are not formally entitled to provide an off to their employees on this day, the majority of organisations remain closed on this day, considering the fact that people want to spend some quality time with their near and dear ones on this day.
History of New Year
New Year history holds relevant significance and commemorates the beginning of its observance. Folks who follow the
Gregorian Calendar, give a grand welcome to the New Year on the first of January. It was the Romans who initiated the
process of marking the first date of January as the beginning of their Civil Year. However, this incident in history took
place even before the Gregorian Calendar came into existence.
Finally, Pope Gregory XIII inaugurated the Gregorian Calendar during the year 1582. Very soon, the calendar was accepted by most of the European nations. The United Kingdom eventually started to follow the Gregorian Calendar from the year 1752 onwards. Ever since, then UK folks have solemnly been following this calendar under which the New year is observed on the first of January every year.
How Does the UK Celebrate New Year’s Eve?
One of the most widely celebrated events of the world, the New Year Festivities begin the day before, on the 31st December.
Traditionally, the New Year in UK festivities did not take a centre stage, but as modernism seeped in slowly, New Year is considered
to be one of the major observances of the era. People now come out of their houses on the day of New Year’s Eve and the celebrations last
until the next day. Grand parties, galas, fireworks are commonly spectated on this day. Let us now take a look at how the various parts
of the UK commemorate the celebrations of New Year’s Day.
Fireworks and Parade in London
The capital city also takes part in the New Year Celebrations in a very grand manner. Spectacular fireworks are put on display in public
spaces. Large gatherings are seen at the banks of the river Thames which host a firework display for twelve long minutes. Shortly, the
New Year’s parade takes place, which happens to be one of the largest parades to be organised ever on the New Year’s Day. This tradition
has been going on for a period of 30 years.
The Fire Festival of Allendale
When the New Year commences, Fire processions start in Allendale, which is located in Northumberland, England. The men of this place carry
tar lot barrels on their head and ultimately put the barrels in the community bonfire so as to mark the beginning of a brand new year.
First Footing and Loony Dook in Scotland
On the very first day of January, Scottish folks take part in a fun yet daring activity called ‘Loony Dook’. Natives on this day wear costumes
and jump into frozen water bodies to collect funds for charity. Imagine the spine chilling winter days of January and the courage of those folks who
volunteer to take part in this activity.
Another interesting New Year tradition of Scotland is First Footing. It is believed that the first house who visits any household on this day brings good fortune with him/her, which is symbolised by the many gifts brought by the guest. The gift list includes items like coal, black buns, shortbread, salt and to top it all, some fine Scotch. It was a traditional belief to consider tall, dark, and handsome men as the first preference for the first footing. Over the years, things have changed to a great extent.
Calennig Tradition in Wales
A special tradition of exchanging gifts is observed in Wales, which is known as Calennig. Children also visit various households of the neighbourhood and sing songs for them and ask for food and money in return. However, it has become a tradition of the yesteryear and is followed in selective parts only.
New Year’s Day Observances
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1. Why do we celebrate New Year’s Eve?
New Year’s Eve is one of the largest global festivities. Most people celebrate New Year’s Eve to say goodbye to the year which is coming to an end and to welcome the New Year.
2. What happens on New Year’s Day?
People now come out of their houses on the day of New Year’s Eve and the celebrations last until the next day. Grand parties, galas, fireworks are commonly spectated on this day.
3. Where is the first place to celebrate the New Year?
New Year is first celebrated on the small Pacific island nations of Samoa, Tonga, and Kiribati.
New Year’s Day Celebrations in Other Countries
- New Year’s Day in the USA
- New Year’s Day in India
- New Year’s Day in Australia
- New Year’s Day in Canada
So, the details given above are all you need to know about New Year 2019 in the UK. We hope to have provided you with important insights of this day. Thankyou for connecting with us!!