New Year's Day in Colombia - Origin and celebration

1 Jan 2025

Date 2024

Monday, 1 of January

Date 2025

Wednesday, 1 of January

Official: New Year's day
Spanish: Año Nuevo Año Nuevo occidental
New Year's celebration in Colombia with fireworks

On January 1st, the first day of the year, it is a holiday in Colombia and many places around the world to celebrate the start of a new year. In addition, it is a Catholic celebration in honor of the Solemnity of Saint Mary, Mother of God.

What is celebrated on January 1st?

January 1st is the first day of the year according to the current civil calendar, which has been in effect since its introduction in 1582 by the Church. This day is widely celebrated and is perhaps the most common holiday around the world.

Catholics also celebrate the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, considered the most important Marian celebration in the Western world.

Origin of New Year's celebrations

The tradition of this celebration began in the Roman Empire (it is estimated to have started in 153 BC). The annual magistrates took office on January 1st, the day dedicated to the god Janus, who ruled over the past and the future.

As a sign to bring good luck, the Romans would wear new clothing, men would fill their pockets with coins, husbands would give their wives money, and the first time they passed under the threshold of their house doors, they would do it with their right foot. Many of these traditions are still practiced and celebrated on New Year's Eve.

It was the Julian calendar, approved by Julius Caesar (46 BC), that proposed January as the beginning of the year. Before this, the start of the year was associated with spring, a time when everything would start to flourish again. The Julian calendar was not accepted by the peoples of the empire, and many centuries later, also not by the Christians. In 1582, in order to correct ten days of the calendar and adapt astronomical reality to the civil calendar, Pope Gregory XIII approved a new calendar, the Gregorian calendar, which is currently used by most countries in the world.

On the other hand, paintings have been found in the catacombs of Rome showing celebrations around the figure of Mary as Mother of God. Most Catholic leaders indicate that this is the oldest celebration of Mary that exists.

The Council of Ephesus, held in 431, proclaimed Mary as Mother of God based on written testimonies that speak of her as the mother of Jesus. However, it was only after the Second Vatican Council that this celebration was officially recognized and given the highest liturgical category, that is, a solemnity.

How to celebrate New Year's?

New Year's celebrations take place at the homes of family or friends and usually start on the night of December 31st. Dinner and festive music often play an important role during the celebration. In addition, multiple firework displays are usually held during the night of December 31st and the early morning of January 1st.

Traditions and omens

There are numerous traditions and omens throughout the country, including:

Other public holidays