Origins and traditions of New Years Day | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Origins and traditions of the New Year

Happy New Year!

To celebrate the arrival of the new year, we have pulled together some newspaper stories about the origins and traditions of the New Year from the Romans to William the Conqueror.

New Year’s Date

The date that the New Year is celebrated on has changed over the centuries.


Western Daily Press | 1 January 1942

New Year Traditions

Gift giving was a tradition of the Roman New Year.


Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser | 27 December 1907

Cornishman brings us some popular customs from West Cornwall.

Cornishman | 3 January 1946


A curious New Year’s tradition in Kirkwell was a game a football played through the streets of the town.¬† Hundreds participated in the event.

Western Daily Press | 3 January 1884


In Stonehaven, huge balls of tallow are dipped in oil and set alight then swung in a circular motion by young men to bring in the New Year.

Dundee Courier | 2 January 1939








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2 comments On Origins and traditions of the New Year

  • What about the period when we marked dates as being in the new year from the 25th March so that January and February dates would continue to be e.g. 2017. ? That all was changed in 1752.

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