New Year's Day in the United Kingdom

When is New Year's Day in United Kingdom?

New Year's Day in United Kingdom is on January 1, 2023. It falls on Sunday.

How many days until New Year's Day in United Kingdom?

There are 134 Days left until New Year's Day in the United Kingdom.

Is New Year's Day a public holiday in United Kingdom?

New Year’s Day is a bank holiday in United Kingdom that is observed every January 1st of the year, based on the modern Gregorian Calendar. This holiday marks the beginning of a brand-new year. If the holiday falls on weekend, a substitute holiday is declared.

Origin of New Year's Day

Many countries around the world celebrate New Year’s Day in fact, it is one of the biggest and most recognized holidays internationally. On this day, schools, banks, and offices are closed, though some businesses may remain open such as supermarkets and some shops. Most people enjoy a day off work during New Year’s Day in UK. England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland all celebrate New Year’s Day.

When did New Year's Day become an official bank holiday in the UK?

Although New Year’s Day has been celebrated for thousands of years, it didn’t become an official bank holiday in the United Kingdom until January 1, 1974. Years prior to that, January 1st was a statutory holiday. The concept of New Year’s Day celebration is rooted to the vernal equinox celebration of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) at around 2000 BC. Such celebration took place in the middle of March. Vernal Equinox indicates the start of spring and end of winter. Vernal Equinox is also referred to as Spring Equinox, March Equinox or Northward Equinox. Historically, New Year’s Day was observed on different dates depending on the location. In reference to the previously used Roman Calendar, March was the first month of the year and there were only 10 months. Old Roman Calendar served as the roots of modern-used calendar system. To that account, before the Gregorian calendar was adopted, some countries celebrate New Year’s Day in the month of March. Some celebrate it on September, while others celebrate in on Christmas Day, December 25. From old Roman calendar, Julian calendar was proposed by Julius Caesar and was used in most of Europe until it was replaced by another calendrical reform called Gregorian calendar, which is currently used by most countries. Both Julian and Gregorian calendar starts on January 1. In present times, almost all countries around the world use the Gregorian calendar, and that includes the United Kingdom.


New Year's Day Traditions in UK

The New Year’s Day celebration usually starts on the last day of the year, New Year’s Eve. Even though New Year’s Eve is not a public holiday in the United Kingdom, people usually start the celebration by getting together with family and friends on the afternoon or evening of the New Year’s Eve, December 31.

Socializing with Friends and Families

It’s a common practice for people to socialize on the last day of the year until they welcome the brand-new year. The day is usually characterized by preparing special meals and drinks or catching up with family members who haven’t been seen in a long time. For most people, New Year’s Day celebration would not be complete without having a family gathering. It is always present during this holiday. Everyone would stay awake until midnight of the holiday to welcome the New Year.

Popular New Year's Day Foods

Sharing a big special meal with family and friends has become part of the celebration. Some people believe that certain foods symbolizes prosperity and brings good luck for the new year. Among the most popular traditional foods prepared on New Year’s Day in the United Kingdom include black-eyed peas, cabbage, cheesecake, lentils, pork, greens, among many others. Cabbage is believed to symbolize long life, legumes and greens symbolizes money and prosperity; black-eyed peas is associated with good luck, and many others.

New Year's Day Countdown

Usually, seconds before the midnight, people in the UK gather around and do a countdown. At exactly 12 midnight, people greet each other “Happy New Year”. One of the most common things to expect on New Year’s Day is the fireworks display. There are different areas in town where people gather to watch fireworks displays. The one in London is one of the most prominent. Other people in the United Kingdom turns on their television to witness the New Year’s celebrations in different areas of the world. In recent years, New Year’s Day is now associated with some sports events like English football.

Auld Lang Syne

It is a long-established tradition for people in the United Kingdom to hold hands and sing the classic song “Auld Lang Syne” just before the midnight on New Year’s Eve. Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish phrase which, if translated to standard English means old times, old long since, or days gone by. It was written by a popular poet in Scotland, Robert Burns. The song is generally used to bid goodbye to certain occasions in fact, aside from being sung at the New Year’s Eve, people also use it on funerals, commencement exercises, among others.

New Year's Day Parties and Events

Just like most countries around the world that celebrate New Year’s Day, it is prevalent for some local pubs and big establishments to host some massive parties to welcome the new year. Some people host parties and celebrate New Year’s Day in the comfort of their own homes, while others prefer to celebrate in local pubs, hotels, and other establishments. In London, it has been a tradition for people to attend and take part in a long-established New Year’s Day parade. It is usually participated by a massive crowd. In Scotland, the first-foot tradition is practiced. It’s a believe that whoever steps foot inside the home is the one who will bring good fortune and luck for the coming year and that, to guarantee a good luck, the first-footer must bring bread to represent foods, coin for finances, among others.

Dates of Observance for New Year's Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 January 01 Sunday New Year's Day
2024 January 01 Monday New Year's Day
2025 January 01 Wednesday New Year's Day
2026 January 01 Thursday New Year's Day
2027 January 01 Friday New Year's Day
2028 January 01 Saturday New Year's Day
Upcoming United Kingdom Holidays
Holiday Date
Christmas Day December 25, 2022
Boxing Day December 26, 2022
New Year's Day January 01, 2023