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Calendar >  New Years Trivia, History and More

New Years Trivia, History and More

By   /  December 26, 2023  /  No Comments


TR Robertson -As the old year draws to an end and a new year set to begin, grab your favorite beverage and settle in your favorite chair to read some of the fun and amazing trivia and historical facts associated with New Year, the beginning of New Year celebrations and all of the activities that take place on this festive day. In another article, New Year’s Customs, Traditions, and Superstitions around the world will be covered.

  • The first recorded New Year’s celebrations took place in the city of Babylon in Mesopotamia some 4,000 years ago.
  • The first king to accept January 1st as the date for New Year was Julius Caesar in 46 B.C.
  • Prior to Julius Ceasar Romans celebrated the New Year in March.
  • The New Year’s Eve tradition of kissing to start the New Year was started by the Romans in association with their Saturnalia festival, Saturn is the Roman god of time.
  • Kissing someone at midnight is said to come from the idea that doing so will prevent loneliness during the coming year and will ward off evil spirits.
  • England and the American colonies officially adopted January 1st as the beginning of the New Year in 1752.
  • Scottish poet Robert Burns published the Scots Musical Museum containing the song Auld Lang Syne in 1796.
  • Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish folk song made famous in America by Canadian bandleader Guy Lombardo in the late 1920’s.
  • The young baby as a symbol of the New Year dates to the ancient Greeks, the old year was referred to as Father Time.
  • Celebrating the first baby of the New Year has been a symbol of the holiday since 600 B.C., starting in Greece when an infant was paraded around in a basket in celebration of Dionysus, the god of fertility and wine.
  • The tradition for fireworks began in ancient China in the 2nd century for the Chinese New Year.
  • Until 755 the French began the New Year on December 25th, then moved it to March first and in the 1100’s moved it to Easter. King Charles IX declared January first as the start of the New Year in 1564.
  • The island nation of Kiribati, in the Central Pacific, is the first location to ring in the Near Year.
  • American Samoa is the second to the last place on Earth to celebrate the New Year, behind Baker and Howland Islands, which are both uninhabited.
  • In Alaska, Inuit tribes celebrate the New Year with the arrival of the first snow.
  • The most common resolution people make for the New Year is to get healthier.
  • It is estimated that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February each year.
  • Some believe you should not pay off debts just before New Year’s or you will be in debt the entire following year.
  • Some believe what you dream just before the New Year predicts what the New Year will bring.
  • Times Square first hosted a New Year’s Eve celebration in 1904 with a fireworks show, but when this was banned the ball drop tradition began in 1907.
  • A ball dropping to signal the passage of time dates back to 1833 when a ball was installed on the top of England’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich to help ships captains navigate.
  • The current ball at Times Square is a 12-foot sphere and weighs 11,875 pounds and is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystals.
  • The ball is illuminated by 32,256 LED’s.
  • This is the seventh version of the ball. The first Time Square ball was made of iron and wood, adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, and was 5 feet in diameter weighing 700 pounds.
  • It is estimated one million people fill Times Square to watch the ball drop.
  • Toasting with Champagne became popular between 1800-1850 as more champagne was ordered for ship christenings and New Year’s celebrations.
  • In Miami a 35-foot neon lit Orange rises on the InterContinental Hotel for New Year.
  • Residents of Eastover, North Carolina, watch a three-foot tall, 30 lb. ceramic flea drop from the community building.
  • At the Hershey Press Building in Pennsylvania a 300-pound, seven-foot-tall Hershey’s Kiss rises three stories.
  • In Mt. Olive, North Carolina, a 3 ½ ft. pickle drops from the Mt. Olive Volunteer Fire Department tower truck.
  • In Mobile Alabama, a 12-foot, 600 lb. electric Moon Pie drops at midnight.
  • Atlanta, Georgia, drops a giant peach at New Year’s Eve.
  • Eastport, Maine, drops a big sardine.
  • Ocean City, Maryland, drops a giant beach ball.
  • In Tempe, Arizona, a giant tortilla chip descends into a massive bowl of salsa.
  • Brasstown, North Carolina, lowers a Plexiglass pyramid containing a live possum.
  • In Key West, Florida, an enormous ruby slipper drops holding a drag queen.
  • In Nashville, Tennessee, a large musical note drops in Music City.
  • In Folly Beach, North Carolina, a giant pair of glittery flip-flops drop at the Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop.
  • In Hawaii many celebrate with popping fireworks to ward off evil spirits, eating noodles symbolizing longevity, clean their homes so they don’t carry the old life into the New Year and make mochi, a type of rice cake.
  • Eating black-eyed peas is a Southern tradition to bring economic prosperity for New Year. Many times, this is served as Hoppin’ John – rice, black-eyed peas, pork and onions.
  • Lobster and chicken for the New Year’s meal is considered bad luck because the superstition says the lobster moves backward and the chicken scratches itself backward.
  • Many American homes will serve pork, greens, citrus and pomegranate on New Year’s Day for good luck.
  • There is a phobia for New Years called Neoannophobia – fear of New Years. It is also the fear of aging and the fear of new technology.

However you celebrate, have a Very Happy and Safe New Year. Check out the follow-up article to see how other cultures celebrate the New Year and the many superstitions and traditions other countries have as the old year ends and a New Year begins.


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  • Published: 5 months ago on December 26, 2023
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  • Last Modified: December 26, 2023 @ 10:35 pm
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