By Desiree Coffey
New Year’s Eve (parties aside) typically is most popular because it brings hope for a more prosperous year. Often resulting in those often unachieved resolutions. Here are some fun facts and trivia about the holiday.
- The first New Year was celebrated 4,000 years ago by the ancient Babylonians.
- National Insurance Crime Bureau revealed that more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than any other holiday.
- The top three places to celebrate New Year’s Eve (in the U.S.) are Las Vegas, Disney World and of course, New York City.
- Time Square New Year’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.
- The tradition has continued in Times Square, except for in 1942 and 1943. The ball was not lowered because of wartime restrictions.
- In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.
- In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, some families stuff a large doll, which is called Mr. Old Year, with memories from the past year. They also dress him in clothes from the outgoing year. At midnight, he is set ablaze, thus burning away the bad memories.
- 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.
- Chinese New Year is celebrated the second full moon after the winter solstice.
- Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are traditionally eaten.
- In ancient Rome the New Year began on March 1.
- The top 10 resolutions are usually 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.
- Using a baby to signify the New Year began in ancient Greece around 600 B.C.