Difference Between New Year & Christmas: What You Need to Know

The main distinction between New Year’s Day and Christmas is that New Year’s Day marks the end of one calendar year and the beginning of another, while Christmas is a religious celebration observed on December 25th to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.

Key Takeaways

  • New Year’s Day is the first day of the modern Georgian and Julian calendars, celebrated with parties, alcohol, fireworks, and resolutions for a better life.
  • Christmas is a religious and cultural festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, marked by attending church, sharing gifts, and spending time with family and friends.
  • The two holidays have different origins and significance, with New Year’s Day being a time for fresh starts and new beginnings, while Christmas is a time for reflection on the birth and teachings of Jesus Christ.

What is New Year?

New Year’s Day is the first day of the modern Georgian and Julian calendars. The celebrations begin on December 31st, the last day of the Georgian calendar, and continue into the early hours of January 1st. Festivities include parades, concerts, family gatherings, and parties where people drink, eat, have fun, watch fireworks, enjoy special New Year’s foods, and count down to the new year. People also make greeting cards, exchange messages, and make New Year’s resolutions to break unhealthy habits and plan for a more organized and happy life. In countries like Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, New Year’s Day is a public holiday.

Cities like Sydney in Australia are among the first to celebrate the new year, as the new year arrives there before other major cities. The beginning of the new year is broadcasted worldwide. Other countries that celebrate the new year first include Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea, while the last to celebrate is Baker’s Island in the Central Pacific Ocean. Countries that do not follow the Gregorian calendar have different New Year’s Day celebrations, such as Western Australia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, China, and India.

What is Christmas?

Christmas is observed on December 25th to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a holiday, and Christians around the world celebrate this cultural and religious festival to honor the birth of Jesus Christ, the founder and spiritual leader of Christianity. This is a sacred religious and cultural festival, a public holiday, and also a commercial phenomenon at present.

The name Christmas comes from Cristes maesse, which means Christ’s Mass. This refers to the Catholic tradition of having special masses to celebrate Christ’s birthday. This festival is celebrated by Protestants and Catholics on December 25th, while Orthodox and Coptic Christians celebrate it on January 7th. On this day, people share gifts, go to churches, decorate Christmas trees, and wait for Santa Claus.

The date December 25th was chosen three and a half centuries after Christ’s birth. In 350 AD, Pope Julius 1 selected the date. This date was selected since it coincided with the pagan festivals that celebrate the winter solstice, which generally falls on December 21 or 22nd. It was believed that after this day, the sun grew brighter day by day, and it symbolizes the way the Christ child developed from infant to immortal. On this day, Santa Claus brings gifts to children. This figure is connected with a Christian saint named Saint Nicholas, who was kind-hearted and helped needy children. His honorary day was December 6th, and later Dutch immigrants who called him Sint Nikolaas brought this cultural tradition to the United States with them.

What is the Difference Between New Year and Christmas?

The key difference between New Year and Christmas is that New Year’s day celebrates the end of a calendar year and the beginning of a new one, while Christmas is a religious festival celebrated on December 25th to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Summary – New Year vs Christmas

Christmas is December 25th, the day that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. On this religious and cultural day, people spend time with their families by going to churches, enjoying special food, sharing Christmas gifts, and decorating Christmas trees. Meanwhile, New Year is the first day of the modern Georgian calendar and the Julian calendar. People celebrate that day by counting down the time to the dawn of the New Year, enjoying fireworks, and attending parties where they drink alcoholic beverages, dance, and have fun. They also plan the oncoming new year by having new year resolutions, which make their lives more organized and healthy. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between New Year and Christmas.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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