It was some 4,000 years ago that the first recorded celebration for New Year’s Day was held. The Ancient Babylonians marked the day with a large 11-day religious festival revolving around the first new moon after the vernal equinox (which is a day of equal sunlight and darkness) in mid-March. Through the centuries, and through different rulers and cultures, the spirit of New Year’s has continued to be a religious celebration – with a universal belief of bringing in the New Year with good luck and prosperity.
In this article, we will find more about New Year’s Eve and Day, why it holds such religious importance, and how it is regarded around the world.
Religious Happy New Year
For as long as New Year’s Day has been celebrated, they have heralded it as a religious event and as a religious occasion. As we’ve already mentioned, some 4,000 years ago the Ancient Babylonians used it to mark new agricultural seasons with a lavish 11-day feast and religious festival to honour their gods and deities.
More recently in history, the Catholic Church became one of the biggest believers in the celebration of January 1 and New Year’s Day, with their traditions dating back to the times of the Ancient Romans in 45 B.C. and Julius Caesar implementing the Julian Calendar.
Later still, in the 15th century, Catholic Pope Gregory reworked the Roman calendar and implemented the Gregorian Calendar we use today – with a celebration of January 1 to honour God.
Today, it is the highest-ranking Day of Obligation for the Catholic Church as it serves as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
Happy New Year Religious Wishes
Typical Happy New Year’s wishes with religious feelings concentrate around wishing peace, love, good cheers, and prosperity to others.
Examples of these are:
• “Happy New Year. May God keep you and your family happy and healthy throughout the year.”
• “Happy New Year. Glory be to God in the highest heaven and peace to us on Earth.”
• “May this new year bring peace upon you and your family. Happy New Year to you and yours.”
Religious Happy New Year Greetings
It is tradition to greet loved ones, friends, and acquaintances, with religious Happy New Year’s greetings. As with the above wishes, these also centre on passing on wishes for good cheer, prayers for health, and sentiments of strength for the coming year. Examples of these are:
• “Praying that your year is full of everything your heart desires. Happy New Year.”
• “Wishing you all the success in the world for this coming year. Have a Happy New Year and make every second count.”
• “May the new year bring you luck, hope, and dreams of all good things to come. Happy New Year.”
For the more religious, there are greetings too:
• “New Year’s is a way for God to let you know that he has faith in you to better yourself. Happy New year.”
• “The gift of a new year is one of God’s many blessings. Count your blessings as you countdown to the new year and thank God for each one.”
• “Hallelujah! The new year has arrived. May you find total comfort in your faith throughout the new year. Be blessed and Happy New Year.”
Happy New Year Religious Quotes
It is also customary to collect and share New Year’s messages and quotes. Amongst many Christian Bible verses surrounding the birth of baby Jesus, these quotes also reflect the teachings of the Bible and Christianity’s guiding principles:
• “Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” – Jonathan Edwards
• “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
• “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin
The significance and symbolism of New Year’s Eve and Day carry much weight and aligns with religious beliefs. From ancient traditions handed down over thousands of years, and honoured by religions in various ways worldwide, in contemporary days New Year’s has taken on another form of self-improvement and self-reformation using the same universal beliefs underwriting the religious principles.
In this article, find more about New Year’s religious symbolism and importance, how it is celebrated and honored, and in what ways you can respectfully wish people “Happy New Year.”