With Christmas just around the corner and the end of the
world year being so ...nigh I thought it would be fun to find out a little more about New Years Eve itself - what makes it special and why it has become such an integral part of our celebratory calendar.
What Makes New Years Eve Such a Special Event?
The first New Year was officially celebrated over 4000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians, and to this day has only grown in popularity not simply for its ability to throw a damn good party but because inherent in new years is the promise of redemption and renewal along with the hope of a more prosperous new year. Granted these things may not necessarily come to pass but like any good hangover you'll get over it and move on with your day.
So with 4000 years of 'official' New Years Eve partying under our belt we should be able to find some pretty cool albeit random facts about this most awesome of nights.
And since we are saying goodbye to 2015 let's make it `15 things :D
15 Fun Facts About New Years Eve
- The First recorded New Years Eve party was held over 4000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians.
- Statistically speaking, Sydney holds the biggest New years eve Fireworks shows - with over 80,000 individual fireworks being let off on the Harbour Bridge alone!
Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. Aussie Aussie... Auoh never mind.
- Traditionally the first person you speak to or see will either give you good luck or bad luck. I could argue that this is the reason why we surround ourselves with friends and family when the clock counts down to midnight but I already see your counter argument and completely agree - why on earth would I not want to surround myself with loved ones?! "oh yeah, let's go party with all the peanuts in my life - that'll be fun"
- The famous Times Square New Years's Eve Ball was first dropped in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. Back then, a 700-pound ball embellished with 25-watt bulbs made of iron and wood was dropped. Now, however, it weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals.
On a side note - as a resident of Sydney and someone who has been to New York on New Years Eve I genuinely don't get what the fuss is about? It's a ball and it drops down a pole - slowly I might add - and what? am I missing something here because yeah. Ball on a stick vs majestic Opera House and Harbour Bridge surrounding a harbour full or pyrotechnic barges ready to explode in a kaleidoscope of colour. Hmmmm not really a fair fight is it. ;)
- In the United States New Years Day holds the holiday average record for the most stolen vehicles - according to the statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau
- Australia are unable to confirm whether our crime statistics are similar to that of the US simply because it's New Years Day and I doubt Sensis would even be up yet.
- The traditional New Years Eve song is Auld Lang Syne which means 'times gone by' and is probably the most well known song that noone knows the words to.
- Find out more about the history of this beautiful tune and learn the history and true meaning behind lines like 'lalalala something something hmm hmmm hm hmmm hm hm mmmm eeeeeeeeeeaaaafala" by following the link here --> Auld Lang Syne Wiki
- In ancient Rome they celebrated New Years Eve on the last day of February because the new year began on March 1. I can only begin to imagine the chaos that caused during leap years*
Sidenote - I should Google it and find out more but I always thought the western calendar we use to this day, and the system so out of whack that we need to add an extra day every 4 years was devised by the Romans?! Are we not operating on a Roman Gregorian Calendar? Anyway, I'll worry about that later....*Ok it's later: In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar created a calendar with Jan. 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honour Janus, the month’s namesake. Well there you have it :)
- In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.
- I must reiterate that it is the LUCK that will last all year and NOT the underwear.
- In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico it is traditional for families to stuff a doll - which is called Mr. Old Year - with memories from the past year. They also dress him in clothes from the previous year and then at midnight they set it on fire, thus burning away the bad memories - not to mention the old clothes, especially useful when you have visiting cousins from Italy still wearing their red underwear because of a communication error!
- The top 10 most common New Years resolutions are:
- to lose weight,
- eat more healthily,
- exercise more,
- stop smoking,
- stick to a budget,
- save money,
- get more organized,
- be more patient,
- find a better job and
-to just be a better person over all.can I just take a moment to.....BAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAH no wonder over 80% of resolutions are broken, lost or just forgotten! I do like the last one though. World could do with less peanuts.
- North Korea does not use the normal Gregorian calendar like most of the world. Instead it uses a different calendar system called the Juche calendar for numbering the years and year one of this calendar began on Kim Il Sung’s (The founder of North Korea) birthday. – Source
- Mad I tell you! Those North Koreans are crazier than a bag of cats in a washing machine I swear. I raugh out roud.
- Prior to 1753, Britain and its possessions celebrated the New Year on March 25 (Annunciation Day). Furthermore, 1752 only lasted nine months, as the dates from 01/01 to 03/24 (as well as September 3 to 13) were skipped in order for 1753 to begin on 01/01 like in other countries. – Source
- Nothing a spot of Tea and Cricket can't fix!
- The new year is the most important holiday in Japan, and is a symbol of renewal. In December, various Bonenkai or "forget-the-year parties" are held to bid farewell to the problems and concerns of the past year and prepare for a new beginning. Misunderstandings and grudges are forgiven and houses are scrubbed. At midnight on Dec. 31, Buddhist temples strike their gongs 108 times, in a effort to expel 108 types of human weakness.
Also interesting to note is that On New Year’s Day in Akita, a province in Japan there is a tradition where men dress as mountain demons, get drunk, and terrorize children for being lazy or disobeying their parents.
- Hahahahaha I want to move my children to Akita for a few weeks every January
- It’s good luck to eat foods like black eyed peas, ham and cabbage because it is thought they bring prosperity. But if you want to have a happy new year, don’t eat lobster or chicken. Lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.
- 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. The Chinese are credited with inventing fireworks and use them to spectacular effect in their New Years Celebrations.