In 1907 fireworks were banned in Times Square and the Times Square ball-drop tradition was born to take their place.  The ball-drop in New York City is now the most-watched televised New Year’s Eve event with about 1 billion viewers annually. In 2011 about 1.5 – 2 million people were in Times Square for the event.  New Year’s Eve is an enormously popular holiday and instead of a bunch of unattainable resolutions we’ve decided to give you some facts and trivia about New Year’s traditions.

  • In ancient Babylonia a common resolution was to return any borrowed farm equipment, so go get that hay baler out of the garage and give it back!
  • Some think that the first people you see after the New Year will bring you good or bad luck.
  • Auld Lang Syne is the most commonly sung song for English-speakers on New Year’s Eve.  It is a Scottish song written by the poet Robert Burns in 1796.  It translates roughly into “times gone by”.  It was Guy Lombardo who turned it into a New Year’s Eve hit in 1929.
  • Fireworks were invented by the Chinese and in ancient times it was believed that fire and noise got rid of evil spirits.
  • Insurance statistics show that more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than any other holiday during the year.  What are people putting in that punch!
  • The three most popular U.S. New Year’s Eve destinations are Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City.
  • In Columbia, Puerto Rico and Cuba there is a New Year’s tradition of stuffing a life-size male doll called Mr. Old Year with memories of the past year.  They dress him in old clothes from each family member and at midnight he is set on fire and the bad memories of the past year are burned away.  I love that idea!
  • A recent survey showed that 40 – 45% of American adults make at least one resolution each year.  The most common resolutions are – I bet you can guess- weight loss, quitting smoking, exercise, and better money management.  By the second week in January 25% had abandoned their resolutions.
  • In Italy people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring luck in the upcoming year.

Check out our previous New Year’s articles:

Staying Home on New Year’s Eve

A New Approach to New Year’s Eve Traditions

“Green” New Year’s Resolutions

 

Happy New Year’s from A Sharp Eye!