Cultures That Don't Celebrate New Year's Day On January 1

By Karen Harris
Performers take part in the traditional dragon-and-drums Chinese new year parade. (Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images)

As midnight approaches on December 31, the eyes of most of the world are on the clock, counting down the final moments of the year. Not all countries celebrates the new year on January 1, however.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, not the solar year of the Western world's Gregorian calendar, and Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. That means the the date changes from year to year, but the celebration, which typically occurs in February, is so full of delicious food and beautiful sights like bright lanterns and colorful dancing dragons that non-Chinese cultures around the world have gotten in on the fun in recent years.