January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Here a calendar year refers to the order in which the months are displayed, January to December. The first day of the medieval Julian year was usually a day other than January 1. This day was adopted as the first day of the Julian year by all Western European countries except England between about 1450 and 1600. The Gregorian calendar as promulgated in 1582 did not specify that January 1 was to be either New Year's Day or the first day of its numbered year. Although England began its numbered year on March 25 (the assumed Spring Equinox, although under the Julian Calendar the Equinox drifted backwards) between the 13th century and 1752, January 1 was called New Year's Day, and was, with Christmas and occasionally Twelfth Night, a holiday when gifts were exchanged. 364 days (365 in leap years) remain in the year after this day.
Holidays and observances
listing of all days