There won’t be many people that are sad to see the end of 2020, but thankfully it’s finally time to look ahead to 2021 with New Year’s Day (and a Bank Holiday!) just around the corner.

And to kick off 2021 with some trivia, impress your friends with 5 interesting facts about this time of year…

1. From the 12th century up until Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the official new year was not on January 1st but on March 25th.

Britain made the switch from the Julian calendar in September 1752 to bring us in line with most of Europe – and actually ‘lost’ 11 days in the process!

2. Scotland were the first to change their New Year’s Day to January 1st in 1600.

Until 1599, Scotland’s New Year began on the 25th of March, which was in line with England. However, King James VI decided that Scotland should come into line with other “well governit commonwealths.”

3. January is named for the two-headed god Janus who could look backward and forward, to the old year and the new, at the same time.

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings.

4. In Ethiopia, New Year’s Day is celebrated on September 11 or 12.

Known in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia as Enkutatash, this holiday marks 1 Meskerem, the first day in the Ethiopian calendar.

5. An old superstition around New Year’s Day is that it is thought to be unlucky to sweep your floor out of the door on January 1st.

For good luck, you should sweep from door to fireplace…

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