What Does "have a Happy New Year" Mean?

The phrase "have a happy new year" is a common expression used to wish others happiness, prosperity and success in the coming year. The term is commonly heard during the final week of December and the first weeks of January.

The New Year's holiday is celebrated during the evening of December 31, and the early hours of January 1. Festivities and traditions include spending time with friends and family, watching fireworks, and making resolutions for the coming year. The first New Year's celebration was thought to have taken place in early March approximately 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. It wasn't until the introduction of the Julian calendar in 46 B.C. that January 1 became New Year's Day.