Believe it or not, the Babylonians were the first people to celebrate the New Year some 4,000 years ago. They didn’t celebrate on the 1st of January as we do now but on the first day of Spring, when natures wakes up. Makes sense doesn’t it?
Humankind disagreed through the ages on when the New Year should be even though the Julian Calendar, which we use today, began in the year 46 B.C. It is only in the last 400 years that the New Year is acknowledged and celebrated on 1st January, transcending across race and religion.
And whilst the New Year is only marked by the one moment in time, and celebrated for only 24 hours, some of today’s most widely celebrated holidays can last up to a month or more.
Christmas is the 2nd most celebrated holiday, celebrated by Christians around the world to mark the day Jesus was born. It is celebrated for twelve days, stretching right through the New Year.
Easter which celebrates Jesus’ resurrection is the 3rd most celebrated holiday. For 40 days in the run up to Easter Day, devoted Christians fast as a sign of repentance and self-discipline.
The 4th most celebrated holiday in the world is also the biggest Islamic holiday, lasting for a month. Ramadan is observed by fasting to cleanse the body and soul, culminating in Eid al-Fitr celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of Ramadan.
Buddha Day, also commonly known as Vesak Day is widely celebrated by Buddhists to venerate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. It is generally celebrated on the last full moon in May by Buddhists all over the world, making it the 5th largest celebration worldwide.