New Year’s Eve only comes once a year (obviously) and is known far and wide as the preeminent night to party hearty and sneak that kiss when the ball drops on Times Square. But you might not know that it has a long history and the trivia to go with it. Don’t forget to make your New Year’s resolution something realistic this year like improving your credit score.
The Origin of the New Year’s Kiss
Most historians agree that the New Year’s Eve kiss made its debut in the Middle Ages and had is derived from either German and English folklore. Both cultures enjoyed the tradition. The basic idea is that the first person you encounter in a new year will set that year’s tone. So choose wisely; most people’s inhibition are fairly low at this point. In any event a kiss is the best ritual to start the new year with.
The Party Statistics are Staggering
Statistics suggest that about 22% of us will be passing out before the clock strikes 12. That really narrows the field of kiss prospects (unless you’re really into some serious weirdness). This is where the designated drivers have an edge; that seems like a pretty good strategy. Now, who’s ready for a liver detox?
Those of Us Lucky Enough to Live In the South Eat Black Eyed Peas On New Year’s Day
Not only does this start us off with a hearty helping of fiber, the tradition also brings us good luck. This meal is derived from from a Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) custom so why the Northerners haven’t fully embraced the tradition is a mystery. It started when the first Shepari Jews moved to Georgia in the 1730s.
The Iconic Times Square Ball Drop
The countdown and subsequent ball drop dates back to December 31, 1907. Ever since then, it’s been reenacted every year except for a couple during World War II. The ball today is made of Waterford Crystal and weighs 11,875 pounds. Needless to say, you don’t want that ball to come crashing down on the assembled mob below. It can display 16 million colors. There have been seven versions over the years and it is owned by the building owners of One Times Square. Its got a diameter of 6 feet and takes one minute to drop.
New Year’s Used to be Celebrated on March 20th.
No, it wasn’t always on January 1st. Why is it now? Because Julius Caesar made the rules back then according to the Gregorian Calendar. Before that, New Year’s was on March 20th according to Mesopotamian rules. That is coincidental with the Spring Equinox, which makes sense. Of course today it is illegal to celebrate it in Saudi Arabia. That’s right, the same peaceful and tolerant people that brought New York all the fireworks on 9/11.
These are just a bit of New Year’s trivia and fun facts to stump your fellow party animals with. Now go get that party hat on already!
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