The earliest recorded New Year’s festival was in ancient Babylon in what is now Iraq.
Before the introduction of a calendar year, the celebration took place in spring during the planting season.
The Babylonian feast was elaborate, lasting eleven days, and included copious drinking and eating in a tribute to the gods of fertility and agriculture.
Celebrating the new year was both a thanksgiving and a plea for a successful new harvest.
Today, many cultures continue celebrating the new year with a feast of food and alcohol.