During the holidays, the use of new year vs New Year gets confusing for most people and this should never be the case. It is important for everybody to have the right knowledge of the proper capitalization of both holiday terms and holidays in order to avoid embarrassment when sending out holiday greetings.
Is New Year Capitalized?
The short answer is that New Year (and Happy New Year) are capitalized.
This a very common question especially for teachers just before schools break for the holidays. It is also a conundrum for anyone who sends out holiday cards.
Why New Year is Capitalized
The distinction between new year and New Year depends on whether the reference is being made on the year or the holiday itself. If a reference is being made on the holiday, then it should be capitalized e.g. Happy New Year!
However, when someone is making reference to the year itself then it should not be capitalized e.g. It is the second day of the new year.
It is grammatical and customary to capitalize both secular and religious holidays. In addition, when the words eve and day constitute the holiday name then they should be also capitalized. This is regardless of whether the name of the holiday is shortened or not e.g. New Year’s Eve.
One easy way to remember is never to capitalize in instances when you are using an article such as the or a.
So, is new year capitalized? It depends on how it is being used.
Happy New Year or Happy New Year’s?
It can be confusing around the New Year whether you which someone a “Happy New Year” or “Happy New Year’s.” When do you use the apostrophe-S vs not? Generally, these two phrases can be interchanged, but one makes more sense on December 31st than the other.
You only really use “Happy New Year’s” on December 31st or January 1st because you are wishing someone a happy “New Year’s Day” on that day in particular. Most people drop the “day” as the last part of that phrase which is where the confusion comes in. Again, if you say one or the other no one will correct you (unless your grammar teacher cousin is at the party).
Hopefully, we have cleared up any confusion that might exist when sending out holiday cards to your friends and family. Spread the word on when New Year is capitalized and help everyone to ring in the new year correctly.
To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.