New Years Day History- Introduction to the Julian Calendar

The first time New Years Day was marked was 45BC at the introduction of the Julian Calendar which marked the first ever New Years January 1st, Caeser had to add 67 days to the calendar in order to make sure January 1st was marked as the first day of the year.

Julius Caesar decided that the calendar they currently used was not good enough, he updated and created a new Roman calendar in 7BC which attempted to follow the lunar cycle. However, the calendar he created had to be constantly updated and corrected because it often feels out of sync with the lunar cycle. The main issue with the government ran calendar was that the people Caesar assigned to oversee the calendar often abused the power and would add days to extend their election.

Whilst designing the new calendar Julias Caesar required an astronomer, Sosigenes to help him construct his calendar around the lunar cycle. Sosigenes advised Caesar to calculate a year by 365 and ¼ days.

After Julias Caesars assassination in 44BC, Mark Anthony changed the month of Quintilis to Julius which is known as July today. This was to honour the last Caeser. The month of Sextillis was changed to Augustus which we know as August, this was to honour Caesers successor Augustus.

Due to a miscalculation New Years Day didn’t always fall in January and in the 1570s Pope Gregory commissioned a different astronomer Clavius to realign the calendar.

The updated Gregorian Calendar was created in 1582 and created a new rule that only one of every four years would be classed as a leap year. Since its adoption New Years day has religiously been celebrated on the 1st January around the world.

New Years Day Facts

  • Until Britain adopted the Gregorian Calendar afters it 1750s inception, New Years Day was celebrated on March 25th rather than the current New Years day we know as today on January 1st.

  • The shortest year in England which only lasted from March 25th to December 31st was 1751.

  • January was named after the mythical two headed dog Janus. The reason for this was that Janus could look back and forwards at the same time, looking into the New Year whilst reminiscing on the year just gone.

  • Ethiopia is one of a few countries would do not celebrate New Years Day on January 1st, rather they celebrate New Years Day on September 11th or September 12th depending on the years.

  • Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus were the first countries to officially mark January 1st as the start of the New Year, in 1362.

  • Many famous people have been born on New Years Day: Former FBI Director J Edgar Hoover, British Spy Kim Philby, Actor Verne Taylor and Footballer Jack Wilshere to name a few.

  • Whilst many countries have different New Years Day traditions, in Rome (where the Georgian calendar was created) January 1st is known as both New Years Day and also the World Day of Peace.

  • Superstitious people used to believe that it was unlucky to sweep your floor on New Years Day.

New Years Day Resolutions and Traditions

New Years Day traditions vary country to country. The most common New Years Day traditions are:

  • Diet or Exercise goals. Reducing a bad habit such as eating too much crisps might result in giving up crisps for New Years.

  • Goals the you feel would improve your life, such as reading more or spending more time with loved ones.

Different New Years Day Traditions around the world


To celebrate the start of the New Year, buddhist temples ring their bells 108 times. The 108 stands for the number of sins buddists believe humans can make and that this tradition is a way of cleansing them of the previous years committed sins.


Many Chinese people choose to paint their front door red which for them symbolises happiness and is a sign of good fortune for the upcoming year. In China there is also a big superstition surrounding knives and many people will hide all their knives away because if one of the family members cuts themselves it is thought that this will impact the good luck of all of their family members.


The News Years tradition in the Philippines consists of Filipinos wearing polka dots and eating circular fruits as well as throwing coins into pans. All these traditions are believed to bring prosperity to those involved in the upcoming New Year.


Across Siberia and Russia people gather around frozen lakes on New Years and dive in whilst holding a tree trunk. They then place the trunk underneath the lake as a sign of good luck for the New Year.


Burmas New Years tradition consists of citizens throwing water on each other in order to start afresh and purify themselves.


Every New Years in Singapore consists of wishing spheres which are released into the river. Each wish sphere holds handwritten notes from people for their hopes and wishes for the New Year.


Belarus’ New Years traditions consists of unmarried women competing in games and the winner is thought to be the one that will get married in the New Year.


For Greeks the onion symbolises rebirth and well wishes for the upcoming year. As such parents will wake their children up the day after New Years Day by tapping them on the head with an onion.

South Africa

South Africans throw old appliances out of their windows on New Years as this represents the saying “out with the old and in with the new”.


The Dane’s New Years tradition consists of smashing plates on your neighbour’s doorstep. The more broken plates which are smashed at your door the more good luck you will feature for the upcoming year.


Italians have several New Years traditions, one is that they believe wearing red underwear will bring love in the upcoming year. The other tradition consists of Italians gathering in St Marks Square and a mass kissing session happens.


Many countries adopt such a tradition as this, in England it is tradition to kiss your loved one at midnight reading to embrace the new year together.


In Bahamas instead of a specific small tradition there is a huge parade which everyone can get involved in. Junkanoo parade features many people dressing up in over the top amazing creations they have spent months making and the best parade which includes music not just the costumes will earn a prize.

New Years Eve Outfits

It’s often a tradition amongst many to go to a big party in order to celebrate at midnight when you enter into the new years. It is popular for people to go all out, particularly with outfits. The biggest New Years outfit trends for in 2019 was:

  • Velvet- Velvet co-ords or velvet trousers were a popular option for those who wanted to make an effort and look glamorous but also wanted to feel comfortable and be able to party the whole night.

  • Sequins- An ever-popular New Years material of choice is sequinned everything and sequinned anything. Sequin dresses are a New Years Eve staple.

  • Shimmer- For those who feel sequins is just a bit too much, metallic thread outfits were popular. Metallic bags paired with a contrasting metallic thread dress would definitely make a statement.

Radley bags we love for New Years

Alba Place- Small Zip Around Cross Body Bag

Take your look from simple to statement with an update on the Alba Place bag in faux leopard print. Crafted from smooth leather with a leopard print design in pony skin texture, it features multi-compartment with zip features, and a detachable wide shoulder strap. The on-trend animal print will add visual interest to any outfit.

Let Them Eat Cake- Medium Zip-Top Multiway Bag

Celebrate Chinese New Year with this delightful bag from our Let Them Eat Cake collection. Crafted from smooth leather, it is designed with an appliqué story against a dreamy pale pink background accentuated by red trims. Radley fans will be delighted to see our iconic Scottie perched up against a table opposite his rat friend, as they eagerly wait to eat a delicious cake. Once you’ve finished taking it all in, you’ll be delighted further by the multiple compartments and roomy space inside that will keep all your essentials organised and close to hand.

Arlington Court- Small Zip-Top Multiway Bag

Meet the must-have handbag of the season. Our new Arlington Court faux croc grab will take you through the week with ease. Featuring a stylish design that’ll pair well with both day to night ensembles, you can also add the detachable cross body strap for a more casual feel. Beautifully crafted from textured leather that’ll be with you for years to come, this silhouette is finished with a multi-compartment design that make organising essentials a breeze.

Selby Street- Night Sky Small Zip Top Cross Body Bag

The ultimate piece of arm candy for all your festive soirees, this cross bag will make a striking statement with ease. Crafted in luxurious velvet, the front is accented with beaded embellishment, with an understated plain reverse. It’s hands-free and fuss-free thanks to the detachable shoulder strap, which means you can focus on looking stylish on the dance floor.

Magpie Lane- Medium Zip Around Cross Body Bag

This season we’ve been influenced by vintage trends with a contemporary twist! This cross body bag from our Magpie Lane collection is inspired by vanity cases, updated with a woven leather hoop handle and double tassel zip pulls to make the perfect evening companion. A silhouette beautifully crafted from sleek faux croc textured leather, it’ll stay with you for years to come.

Get carried away with one of our exclusive Magpie Lane designs. Inspired by traditional vanity cases, these handbags will see you through all the events you have this season.

Bow Hill- Small Zip-Top Clutch Bag

The minimalist design of our Bow Hill clutch makes it the perfect investment piece for special occasions. The zip-top fastening opens to a compact compartment where you can keep evening essentials organised. The handy wristlet strap makes it easy to go hands-free on the dance floor too!

With an array of glamorous outdoor events to attend this season, from races and regattas, to Wimbledon and weddings, a new clutch bag will be your go-to accessory for elevating all your occasion outfits.