Cover image: New Year's Day

New Year's Day

The first day of the year.

A time for aspirations and positivity.

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Updated 1 year ago

About the event

New Year's Day is a moment celebrated all over the world. This is a day with many different traditions including sports matches, parades, long walks and time with family. What many of these traditions have in common is a calmness after the festivities of December and New Year’s Eve. It’s a time of looking forward to the new year ahead, which provides lots of global learning opportunities for educators. 

How to approach it

As always the diversity of celebration on this day offers an excellent opportunity to discover new cultures. Encourage your student’s curiosity by asking them to investigate an unfamiliar New Year’s Day tradition from around the world. For example, you could explore how different cultures mark the start of the new year on different days depending on what calendars they use like the Chinese, Islamic or Nepalese new year celebrations. You could point out that it was only in 1752 that England and Wales started to mark January 1st as the beginning of the new year - before it was March 25th. 

Secondly, you could use this day as a time to set aspirations for the year(s) ahead. There are many different ways to approach setting goals here. You could talk about goals for particular relationships, hobbies, school, new skills, mental health or for making a difference in the world. The two important questions are: ‘What would you like to achieve?’ and ‘How can you get there?’. These goals can be big or small but it’s important to focus on how splitting them up into manageable steps makes them easier to achieve. Special attention should be given here to how students would like to make a difference to the problems they care about most. A useful resource here is Education Unlocks Big Change which helps students analyse problems in the world and compare them to their skill sets.

Conversation starter

New Years Day is about renewal and celebration. We think about all that has happened last year and all that we hope for this new year. What have you enjoyed about the past year? What are you looking forward to in this new year?