December 31

December 31 Holidays and Events

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve

December 31


Historical Milestones

On December 31 throughout history, pivotal moments have shaped the global landscape significantly. Notably, Roman Emperor Commodus met his end in 192, surviving a poisoning attempt only to be strangled later.

On the same day centuries later, in 406, a large migration began as 80,000 Vandals, Alans, and Suebians crossed the Rhine, marking the invasion of Gallia, a region that would become a corner of the foundation of Europe.

While not on December 31, the Battle of Quebec in 1775 was a critical event during the American Revolutionary War, as it involved pivotal figures such as James II of England and signified the involvement of France, led by Louis XIV, in the conflict.

Jumping ahead to the turn of the 20th century, December 31 witnessed Thomas Edison demonstrating his incandescent light to the public, illuminating brighter prospects for the future, albeit Edison’s demonstration did not occur on this exact date.

In more recent history, on December 31, 1999, a significant geopolitical transaction occurred when control of the Panama Canal was transferred from the United States to Panama.

In England and other countries that formed the British Empire and subsequently the Commonwealth, December 31 marks the issuance of the charter to the East India Company in 1600, influencing trade and colonization patterns well into the future.

Significantly, on December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to cases of “viral pneumonia” in Wuhan, China. This illness was later identified as COVID-19, which would lead to an unprecedented global pandemic.

These snapshots of December 31 underscore its influence on global history in various fields, spanning from political transitions and scientific advancements to the sobering heralding of contemporary health crises.

Pop Culture

On December 31st, various pop culture events have marked the date over the years. In music history, notable figures such as American singer-songwriter Natalie Cole, who passed away in 2015, have connections to the date. Natalie Cole was known for her soulful voice and R&B hits that captivated audiences worldwide.

In sports, particularly baseball, December 31st has notable significance through the figure of Roberto Clemente. Clemente, a revered baseball player and humanitarian, tragically died on this day in 1972 in a plane crash while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

New Year’s Eve stands out as a globally significant cultural phenomenon, with festivities highlighting the end of the year. Famous landmarks such as Times Square in New York City become the focal points for celebration, counting down the final moments of the year.

Additionally, the British East India Company, a massive corporation pertinent to global trade, was chartered on this day in 1600. While not a direct pop culture reference, its impact on the world stage set historical precedents influencing cultural exchanges and international relations.

Television and film also see a notable upswing in special programming for New Year’s Eve, ranging from countdowns to yearly recaps, further establishing December 31st as a pop culture keystone.

Lastly, the South Korean singer Psy, famous for his viral hit “Gangnam Style,” symbolizes the intertwining of global pop culture where music transcends borders and calendar dates become milestones for memorable moments.

Celebrations and Famous Birthdays

December 31 marks a significant day worldwide, not only as the end of the calendar year but also for various celebrations and notable historical events. Specifically on this day, people around the globe prepare to welcome the New Year. In New York City, the famed Times Square hosts the iconic ball drop, an event televised internationally, signaling the conclusion of the old year and the beginning of the new. Across the globe in Japan, the occasion is celebrated with Joya no Kane, where temple bells are rung 108 times.

Historically, December 31 has seen important transitions, such as in 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved, leading to significant geopolitical changes. Similarly, December 31, 1999, marked a critical political moment for Russia when Boris Yeltsin resigned, making Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the acting president.

The world of arts and sports also recognizes December 31 as the birthday of notable individuals. Renowned French painter Henri Matisse was born on this day in 1869. His contributions to modern art are celebrated internationally.

Famous Birthdays:

  • Entertainment: Celebrated figures such as Anthony Hopkins, known for his profound impact on acting, and Natalie Cole, an American singer-songwriter with a captivating voice.
  • Sports: Alex Ferguson, a titan in the world of football management, shares this birthday.
  • Leadership: The day also commemorates the birth of influential thinkers like Canadian professor Marshall McLuhan.

In the realm of sports, figures born on this date have made significant impacts. For example:

  • Sporting Legends:
    • Rugby: Richie McCaw, a figure synonymous with New Zealand’s rugby success.
    • Gymnastics: Gabby Douglas, an athlete renowned for her excellence in artistic gymnastics for the United States.

December 31 serves as an intersection of celebration, transition, and remembrance, reflecting on both historical events and the personal achievements of individuals in various fields.



The Zodiac sign for December 31 is Capricorn ♑.

Horoscope for December 31

Aries ♈
As the year comes to a close, Aries, you may feel a surge of energy and determination...

As the year comes to a close, Aries, you may feel a surge of energy and determination. Use this motivation to tie up loose ends and set the stage for a fresh start in the coming year.

Taurus ♉
Taurus, December 31 is a day to reflect on your achievements and set new goals for the future...

Taurus, December 31 is a day to reflect on your achievements and set new goals for the future. Take some time to appreciate how far you've come and envision the path ahead.

Gemini ♊
Communication is key for you today, Gemini...

Communication is key for you today, Gemini. Reach out to friends and loved ones to express your gratitude and strengthen your connections as you prepare to welcome the new year.

Cancer ♋
Embrace your nurturing nature, Cancer...

Embrace your nurturing nature, Cancer. Use December 31 to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for those around you. Your caring spirit will set a positive tone for the year ahead.

Leo ♌
December 31 holds opportunities for creative expression, Leo...

December 31 holds opportunities for creative expression, Leo. Let your artistic side shine and explore new ways to share your talents with the world as you usher in the new year.

Virgo ♍
Virgo, take some time for self-care on December 31...

Virgo, take some time for self-care on December 31. Reflect on your personal growth and celebrate your accomplishments. Recharge your energy to step into the new year with renewed vigor.

Libra ♎
Balance is key for you today, Libra...

Balance is key for you today, Libra. Use December 31 to find harmony in your relationships and seek resolution where needed. Set the stage for a year filled with peace and understanding.

Scorpio ♏
December 31 brings a sense of mystery and intrigue, Scorpio...

December 31 brings a sense of mystery and intrigue, Scorpio. Embrace this energy as you delve into introspection and prepare to unveil new layers of your true self in the coming year.

Sagittarius ♐
Adventure awaits you, Sagittarius...

Adventure awaits you, Sagittarius. Use December 31 to plan exciting experiences and embrace the unknown. Your optimistic outlook will pave the way for a year of discovery and growth.

Capricorn ♑
Capricorn, December 31 is a day for practical planning and goal setting...

Capricorn, December 31 is a day for practical planning and goal setting. Take the time to lay the groundwork for your aspirations and approach the new year with a clear sense of direction.

Aquarius ♒
Your innovative spirit is highlighted on December 31, Aquarius...

Your innovative spirit is highlighted on December 31, Aquarius. Embrace your unique ideas and share them with others as you prepare to embark on a year filled with groundbreaking concepts and progress.

Pisces ♓
Tap into your intuition, Pisces...

Tap into your intuition, Pisces. December 31 encourages you to trust your inner wisdom and envision the possibilities that lie ahead. Embrace your dreams and aspirations as you welcome the new year.

When is December 31?

No, it's not December 31 today. There are 219 days until December 31, 2024.

You can learn more about what day it is and what we celebrate today here.