After a difficult 2020, a weary world looks to the end of the year and wonder what the new year will bring. Though because of continuing quarantines and social distancing, celebrations may be more muted, there will be many observances as 2021 arrives. The start of each new year is marked with festivities around the world, but there are many different traditions surrounding the day.

Observances of the new year date back thousands of years as ancient peoples recognized the regular shifting patterns of stars at night and the sun in the day and their connection to particular seasons. In some societies, the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring in March, was seen as the beginning of the new year as well as the time to begin planting. The Babylonians were known as early as 2600 BC to mark this day with celebrations and new year’s resolutions.


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