First Posted: 12/26/2013
New Year’s facts
Though it has been difficult to trace the origin of many New Year’s traditions, we were able to collect a number of interesting facts that are sure to impress friends and family alike at any New Year’s Eve party. In keeping with the theme, we’ll start our countdown of facts at 10.
10. Sixty-one percent of Americans say a prayer on New Year’s Eve. No word on whether or not they are praying to wake up on time for work come New Year’s morning.
9. Forty-one percent of American adults make plans to kiss someone at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
8. Not everyone is spending the first few minutes of their year kissing loved ones and dancing on tables. Twenty-two percent of Americans admit to falling asleep before midnight.
7. Many Americans believe that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will ensure good luck in the new year.
6. The most popular New Year’s resolutions are as follows: Weight loss, getting organized, spending less and saving more, staying fit and finally, quitting smoking.
5. The annual New Year’s Eve celebration in New York attracts more than 1 million people each year to gather in Times Square and watch the ball drop, whereas 1 billion people watch the broadcast on television.
4. The month of January is named after Janus, an ancient Roman God who is said to possess two faces. One face looks forward and one face looks backwards.
3. Persians used to give eggs as a New Year’s gift, as a way of symbolizing productiveness. In a way, this tradition remains alive to this day, typically carried out during Halloween. Though the eggs are less a “gift” so much as a form of vandalism, and they don’t symbolize productiveness so much as they symbolize the cruelty of bored teenagers.
2. The first Times Square New Year’s celebration took place in 1904 and was organized by “The New York Times” to inaugurate their new headquarters in Times Square, as well as to bring attention to the renaming of what was then called Longacre Square to Times Square.
1. Unlike chewing gum and cream cheese, New Year’s celebrations were not invented in America. In fact, it is believed that the Babylonians began the tradition of celebrating the new year more than 4,000 years ago, when they celebrated the first full moon after the spring equinox.