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

  • 1259
    Michael VIII Palaiologos is proclaimed co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea with his ward John IV Laskaris.
  • 1800
    The Dutch East India Company is dissolved.
  • 1810
    Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially becomes Governor of New South Wales
  • 1880
    Ferdinand de Lesseps begins French construction of the Panama Canal.
  • 1892
    Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States.
  • 1894
    The Manchester Ship Canal, England, is officially opened to traffic.
  • 1928
    Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin’s secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.
  • 1929
    The former municipalities of Point Grey, British Columbia and South Vancouver, British Columbia are amalgamated into Vancouver.
  • 1942
    The Declaration by United Nations is signed by twenty-six nations.
  • 1960
    Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.
  • 1962
    United States Navy SEALs established.
  • 1966
    After a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa assumes power as president of the Central African Republic.
  • 1966
    A twelve-day New York City transit strike begins.
  • 1981
    Palau achieves self-government though it is not independent from the United States.
  • 1985
    The Internet’s Domain Name System is created.
  • 1995
    The World Trade Organization goes into effect.
  • 1996
    Curaçao gains limited self-government, though it remains within free association with the Netherlands.
  • 1997
    Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 1997
    Zaire officially joins the World Trade Organization.
  • 2012
    Kim Jong-un is officially declared the new Supreme Leader of North Korea.

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