Sunday is January 1, New Year’s Day in the Gregorian calendar, the most widely-used calendar system today. This was also the first day of the year in the original Julian calendar.
While the event is widely celebrated, it’s New Year’s Eve on the last day of the year that typically sees people dancing, eating, drinking, and watching or lighting fireworks.
In ancient Rome, the first of the year was dedicated to Janus, the god of beginnings and time, for whom the month of January is named.
New Year’s Day continues to be the most celebrated public holiday in the world. It is frequently observed with fireworks at the stroke of midnight. Many people prepare New Year’s resolutions and, in Austria and Germany, it is customary to watch the short film “Dinner for One” before going out to celebrate the advent of the new year. Another tradition there is Bleigießen or molybdomancy, where friends and family gather to watch what forms molten metal will take when it is dropped into water, consulting a checklist of shapes to find out what the new year holds for each participant.
While people in English-speaking countries greet one another with Happy New Year, people in Austria and Germany wish friends “einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr,” or a “good slide” into the New Year. French speakers simply say “bonne année,” or “good year,” sometimes said followed by the new year, for example “bonne année deux mille vingt trois.”
Since both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day fall on a weekend, many people will likely begin their holiday celebrations on the preceding Friday, and Monday is a federal holiday in the United States as a result and a bank holiday in the United Kingdom.
This is the third year that millions of people across the globe are being told by health and government officials to limit celebrations to people in their immediate household, saving visits to family and friends until the pandemic is well under control.
Here’s what you need to know about what’s open for business and operating in the United States – and what isn’t – on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
SHOPS. Stores will be open on Friday and on New Year’s Eve although they will likely close early on the latter. Most will be closed on New Year’s Day and open on Monday. Check store hours before heading out. Drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS and convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and Wawa will be open.
RESTAURANTS. Many restaurants will be open on New Year’s Eve, and some will be closing early. Many will remain closed on New Year’s Day. However, many restaurants that are part of large chains, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, and Starbucks, will be open, as will many Denny’s and International House of Pancakes locations.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES All Federal government offices are closed on Monday, as will be almost all city and state offices.
POST OFFICE Regular service on Friday and on New Year’s Eve but there will be no regular mail delivery on New Year’s Day except for Priority Mail Express, formerly known as Express Mail, nor on Monday. Regular service resumes on Tuesday.
PACKAGE DELIVERY SERVICES UPS and FedEx will deliver packages on Friday and Saturday but there will be no delivery or pick-up services on New Year’s Day. UPS will not have regular pick-up or delivery services on Monday but it will offer its Express Critical service, however, on Sunday and Monday, while FedEx will offer most services including FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery on Monday although FedEx Express will not be operating that day.
BANKS Financial institutions will close early on Saturday and remain closed on Sunday and Monday.
SCHOOLS Closed due to winter recess.
FINANCIAL MARKETS The nation’s stock and bond markets will close at 2 p.m. EDT on Friday and reopen on Tuesday.
TRANSPORTATION Most local transportation systems, such as buses, subways, and commuter rails, will operate on Sunday or holiday schedules on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Some will offer extra rush-hour trains on Friday in the late afternoon and early evening. Airports will be open. Expect traffic on the roads starting as early as Thursday afternoon as people head to their destinations.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)