Where did the earliest recorded festivities to honor the arrival of a new year take place?
4,000 years ago in Babylon
The first recorded festivities to honor the arrival of a new year date back to the Babylonians some 4,000 years ago. The celebration began with the first new moon after the spring Equinox. This comes every year in late March when the Earth receives an equal amount of sunlight and darkness. The Babylonians marked the new year with an enormous 11-day religious festival called Akitu filled with a variety of rituals. Source: History.com
Babylon was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BCE. The city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river’s seasonal floods. Wikipedia
Founded: 2300 BC