About January 1

January 1, 2021 is the 1st day of the year 2021 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Friday.

You can browse the full year calendar in case you need it.

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Capricorn is the sun sign of a person born on this day. Garnet is the modern birthstone for this month. Emerald is the mystical birthstone from Tibetan origin that dates back over a thousand years.

According to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, there are 42 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year.

January 1: More About This Day

The preceding day is December 31 of the previous year.

During the Middle Ages under the influence of the Christian Church, many countries moved the start of the year to one of several important Christian festivals — December 25 (the Nativity of Jesus), March 1, March 25 (the Annunciation), or even Easter. Eastern European countries (most of them with populations showing allegiance to the Orthodox Church) began their numbered year on September 1 from about 988.

In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record records the execution of Charles I occurring in 1648 (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. For example, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. Later that year in September, the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies. These two reforms were implemented by the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.

January 1 became the official start of the year as follows:

  • 1522 The Republic of Venice
  • 1544 Holy Roman Empire (Germany)
  • 1556 Spain, Portugal
  • 1559 Prussia, Sweden
  • 1564 France
  • 1576 Southern Netherlands
  • 1579 Lorraine
  • 1583 United Provinces of the Netherlands (northern)
  • 1600 Scotland
  • 1700 Russia
  • 1721 Tuscany
  • 1752 Great Britain (excluding Scotland) and its colonies

What Happened On January 1

  • 42 BC
    The Roman Senate posthumously deifies Julius Caesar
  • 1438
    Albert II of Habsburg is crowned King of Hungary.
  • 1739
    Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.
  • 1773
    The hymn that became known as “Amazing Grace”, then titled “1 Chronicles 17:16–17” is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, England.
  • 1788
    First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.
  • 1800
    The Dutch East India Company is dissolved.
  • 1804
    French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States
  • 1810
    Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially becomes Governor of New South Wales
  • 1890
    The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, is first held.
  • 1902
    The first American college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl between Michigan and Stanford, is held in Pasadena, California.
  • 1913
    The British Board of Censors is established.
  • 1916
    German troops abandon Yaoundé and their Kamerun colony to British forces and begin the long march to Spanish Guinea.
  • 1932
    The United States Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth.
  • 1934
    Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring”.
  • 1945
    World War II: Operation Nordwind, the last major German offensive on the Western Front begins.
  • 1947
    The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.
  • 1992
    Russia is officially formed.
  • 1995
    The Draupner wave in the North Sea in Norway is detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.
  • 1998
    The European Central Bank is established.
  • 2007
    Bulgaria and Romania officially join the European Union. Also, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Irish become official languages of the European Union, joining 20 other official languages.

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