New Year's Day is celebrated on January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. It is a time of renewal and many people people resolve to break bad habits and begin good ones. These resolutions require people to examine their lives over the last twelve months and plan for the coming year.
The earliest documented New Year celebration occurred in Mesopotamia around 2000 B.C.E. The celebrations typically occurred in the middle of winter in an attempt to ensure the return of spring and fertility. Ancient Romans exchanged gifts of sacred tree branches and, later on, gold covered coins imprinted with the face of Janus. Janus had two faces: one looked forward and one looked backward. Giftgiving was extended to the emperors who eventually demanded them. However, these and other pagan customs were forbidden by the Christian church in 567 C. E.
In the United States, some of the early colonists fired guns into the air and frequented the local taverns. Others attended church or open houses. The current celebration includes parades such as the Tournament of Roses parade, college football bowl games such as the Orange Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl.