One fascinating aspect of interreligious encounters is discovering the many different ways that religious traditions divide time and mark the calendar. Throughout much of the world, the Gregorian Calendar has become the standard for business, government, and personal use, and so this is the time when we wish one another a "Happy New Year!" But even within that calendar we may well be familiar with other habits, obligations, or expectations that mark the "new" year — the beginning of the school year, the start of a fiscal year, a birthday, or anniversary.
The new Christian year began on December 2nd, with the first Sunday of Advent, the Buddhist year will begin at the end of January. For Muslims, the new year began in November, for Wiccans, on Samhain (October 31), and Baha'is and Zoroastrians will celebrate it with Nawruz in March. Jewish tradition marks four different days- the calendar new year, the new year for animals, the new year for trees, and Rosh Hashanah, when the calendar year changes even though it is the seventh month of the calendar.
No matter how you divide the year, a new year's day is a time for pausing to note the passage of time, for reflection (and maybe resolutions), and gratitude for what has been mixed with anticipation of what lies ahead. We wish all of you and yours the very best for this coming year.