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

  • 193
    The Senate chooses Pertinax against his will to succeed Commodus as Roman emperor.
  • 1515
    King Francis I of France succeeds to the French throne.
  • 1707
    John V is crowned King of Portugal.
  • 1772
    The first traveler’s cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London, England, Great Britain.
  • 1781
    American Revolutionary War: 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne’s command rebel against the Continental Army’s winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781.
  • 1801
    The dwarf planet Ceres is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.
  • 1860
    First Polish stamp is issued.
  • 1877
    Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India.
  • 1911
    Northern Territory is separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.
  • 1923
    Britain’s Railways are grouped into the Big Four: LNER, GWR, SR, and LMS.
  • 1934
    Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring”.
  • 1956
    Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.
  • 1984
    Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.
  • 1989
    The Montreal Protocol Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer comes into force.
  • 1997
    Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 1998
    The European Central Bank is established.
  • 2002
    Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.
  • 2002
    Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei.
  • 2002
    The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially comes into force.
  • 2011
    Estonia officially adopts the Euro currency and becomes the seventeenth eurozone country.

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