We’re so used to celebrating New Year’s Eve that we don’t really know why we do it anymore. Your child, on the other hand, would like to know why we all celebrate at this time.  Say, Mom, why are we celebrating on December 31st?  You’d think that is why period would be over. In fact, no, she still has a lot of questions to answer. Here’s a cheat sheet to answer all your toddler’s questions!


Wherever and whenever it’s celebrated, New Year’s Eve is always a special time of year. Even today, it’s a time to celebrate, to eat something out of the ordinary, to dress up, to give presents. But after all, why is it so important? Starting a New Year means starting afresh, trying to do better than the year before. We make good resolutions, we wish our loved ones well. It’s all a bit superstitious. We think that all these rituals are a way of giving a beneficial direction to the next twelve months. The hope is that by wishing for happiness, health and prosperity, we’ll attract good luck and ward off bad luck. Magic is never far away.

This video can explain it more:

Why does the year start on January 1? That’s another question your toddler might ask you. He’d be right to be interested, because January 1st hasn’t always been the first day of the year. In France, it was only in 1564 that the year began on this day. Before that, in much of the Christian world, the first day of the year was the day of the Annunciation, March 25. On this day, Mary learned that she would become the mother of Jesus nine months later, on December 25. However, the March 25 date was not adopted by everyone. In some regions, people preferred to start the year on Christmas Day. In others, Easter Day.

French Revolution and revolutionary calendar

The French Revolution resulted in the advent of the First Republic in 1792. France entered a new era on September 22, 1792, which became 1st Vendemiaire, Year I. The revolutionary calendar replaced the Gregorian calendar. The year begins on the autumnal equinox, when day and night have the same duration. Depending on the year, this is September 22, 23 or 24. The date is set by decree each year. This calendar, adopted only in France, is very complicated to use. In 1805, under Napoleon I, France reverted to the Gregorian calendar.

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