How traveling can make New Year holidays last till September?

Maria Sergeeva
January 6, 2018

No more champagne and the fireworks are through? After the 1 January, long-awaited Christmas holidays seem to say goodbye until the 25 December. But if you are not ready to say goodbye to Christmas carols and decorations and throw away your Christmas tree, you can plan several trips as an options. You will find out that in many countries the 1 January is just the beginning of the holidays which last until the 19 January (marking Epiphany in the Gregorian calendar or even not a beginning at all. 

And you might be surprised to find out that some countries even have two New Year celebrations, including the Old New Year or their national celebrations in Spring or Autumn but still celebrate New Year on 1 January as much of the world does.

Orthodox Christian Christmas

1 January is just the beginning of 2 weeks of holidays mainly for Orthodox countries, but the casual link is not always evident.

While in the West people normally use the Gregorian calendar, originally proposed by Pope Gregory in 1582, Orthodox Churches in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Jerusalem, Ethiopia and other countries use the old 'Julian' calendar and people in those countries celebrate Christmas on January 7th.

Most people in the Greek Orthodox Church celebrate Christmas on December 25th. But some still use the Julian calendar and still celebrate Christmas on 7th January. Moreover, some Greek Catholics also celebrate on January 7th.

Even though many Christmas traditions coincide despite the date, Christmas meals may vary. The magician who offers the gifts may also be different. For instance, Ded Moroz (translated as Grandfather Frost, please try to abstract from the pronunciation) and his granddaughter Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) deliver presents to the Russian children.

The happiest children taking advantage from the (co-)existence of two calendars and receiving a double helping of Christmas gifts live in Belarus, Eritrea, Lebanon and Moldova.

This year Ukraine recognized December 25th as an official holiday, along with the traditional Orthodox Christmas on January 7th, becoming the world’s fifth country with two Christmases.

In Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech, Poland and Bulgaria they call Christmas carols Kolyadki and sing them usually between the January 7 and 14. It was once common practice, on Christmas Eve, for groups of people, usually children, were going with handmade star around the villages, masquerading, knocking to the door, sending greetings, singing 'kolyadki'. In return, they were offered little presents, coins, sweets, fruits or some Christmas dishes, just as children on Halloween which they gratefully accepted before moving to the next home.

The Old New Year

The Old New Year or the Orthodox New Year is an informal traditional holiday, celebrated as the start of the New Year by the Julian calendar. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the Old New Year falls on 14 January in the Gregorian calendar. This holiday with such an unusual name is celebrated in Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus Moldova. 

Surprisingly it is also celebrated in Wales (as Hen Galan) and Switzerland (as alter Silvester). In Scotland, the Old New Year has traditionally been held on 12 January. In the first half of the 20th century, large segments of the Scottish Gaelic community still observed the feast and today, it is still marked in South Uist and Eriskay as Oidhche Challaig and as Oidhche Challainn in Glenfinnan. 

Also in Scotland, the coastal town of Burghead in Morayshire celebrates the eve of the Old New Year with "The Burning o' the Clavie". Old New Year is the 12th of January in this district as well.

The Berbers of North Africa (from Morocco to Libya) traditionally celebrate the New Year on the "Berber calendar", which is very close to the Julian calendar. Because of certain calendar errors, the "Berber New Year" is celebrated in some areas on the 12th, rather than 14th, of January.

Just a coincidence, the same day is celebrated in India as the sun ends its southward journey and starts moving northward.

What to do if it is January but your soul needs more New Year holidays? Don’t be upset, there are plenty of more exotic New Years to celebrate until September. You should just check New Year's Eve Dates From Around The World.


T?t is a religious, cultural and national New Year celebration in Vietnam that falls on January or February. The day will be celebrated on January 28th, 2017 depending on the Vietnamese calendar.


S?llal is a Korean New Year day that marks the beginning of every new Lunar Year based on the Korean lunar calendar. The day will be celebrated on January 28th, 2017.

Ch?n jié

The day marks the New Year celebration in respect to the Chinese lunar calendar. Ch?n jié is celebrated between January 21st and February 20th on the Gregorian calendar. The day will be celebrated on January 28th, 2017. Tsagaan Sar Tsagaan Sar is the Mongolian Lunar New Year day based on the Mongolian lunar calendar which will be celebrated on February 26th, 2017.


Most of the Hindu regions celebrate New Year’s Day during the first day of the first Hindu month, Chaitra. According to the Gregorian calendar, New Year will be celebrated on March 28th, 2017. Kha b’ Nissan Kha b’ Nissan is the cultural Assyrian New Year day celebrated on April 1st at the beginning of spring.


Nowruz is a religious, ethnic and international Iranian new year day that is celebrated on March 20th or 21st every year.

Songkran Songkran is Thailand’s New Year day that is celebrated for two days starting April 13th. The day marks the beginning of a year based on the Buddhist or Hindu solar calendar. Aluth Avurudda The Sri Lankans celebrate New Year on April 13 based on solar movement.


Vaisakhi is celebrated as the New Year day by the people of Pakistan on April 13th to mark the start of spring.

Choul Chnan Thmey

The day marks the beginning of the Cambodian year on April 13th with celebrations lasting for three days.


Enkutatash is the Ethiopian New Year day celebrated on September 11th based on the Gregorian calendar.

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year celebrated on September 20th. The day marks the beginning of the new Jewish civil year.


Hijri marks the New Year day based on the Islamic lunar calendar. Muslims will celebrate the New Year on September 22nd, 2017.