- The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago.
- According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more vehicles are stolen on New Year's Day than on any other holiday throughout the year.
- It is thought that the first visitors you see after ringing in the New Year would bring you good or bad luck, depending on who you keep as friends and enemies. Keep your friends close and your enemies far away!
- Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.
- Celebrating New Year on January 1 is purely arbitrary, as neither it has agricultural significance nor astronomical. Many countries still celebrate it in spring, the season of rebirth of new crops.
- The Time Square New Year's Eve Ball came about as a result of a ban on fireworks. The first ball, in 1907, was an illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs. Today, the round ball designed by Waterford Crystal, weighs 11,875-pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is bedazzled with 2,668 Waterford crystals.
- January has been named after God Janus (Latin word for door), in the Roman calendar. Janus is the God with two faces, one looking backwards and one forward, at the same time and marks the ‘spirit of the opening’
- Due to wartime restrictions, the New Year's Eve ball was not lowered in 1942 and 1943.
- Throughout the year, visitors to Times Square in New York City write their New Year's wishes on pieces of official Times Square New Year's Eve confetti. At the end of the year, the wishes are collected and added to the one ton of confetti that showers the crowd gathered in Times Square in celebration of the New Year.
- The top three destinations in the United States to ring in the New Year are Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City.
- Eating black-eyed peas, ham or cabbage are thought to bring prosperity. However, stay away from bad luck foods like lobsters, because they move backwards, and chicken, because they scratch in reverse. It is believed that eating these on New Year's day might cause a reversal of fortune.
- In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll called Mr. Old Year with memories of the outgoing year and dress him in old clothes from each family member. At midnight he is set on fire - thus burning away the bad memories of the year.
- The tradition of making New Year resolution dates back to the early Babylonians.
- According to statistics 40 to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. The top New Year's resolutions include weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking and better money management. By the second week of January, 25 percent of people have abandoned their resolutions.
- In Italy and Mexico, people wear red underwear on New Year's Day as a symbol of good luck for the upcoming year.
- The Spanish ritual on New Year's eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight. The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.
- Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year's Eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.
- According to the Mayan calendar, the end of the world will occur on on December 21, 2012 at 11:11(UTC) or 6:11 AM (EST). I guess Prince got it wrong. We shouldn't have partied like it was 1999. We should party like it's 2012!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
New Year's Trivia and Fun Facts
Okay, we did holiday trivia last week, so let's ring in the New Year with some more fun!