A new year is approaching fast, so get ready to party! Pop the bubbly, break out the noisemakers, and drunkenly proclaim soon to be forgotten resolutions at the top of your lungs. Here we come 2016.
But do we know enough about this ‘new year’ thing? Who came up with it? Are there rituals and customs we don’t know about? Maybe a few fun facts? Let’s take a look.
Old New Year – Around 2000 B.C., the Babylonians celebrated a new year in the springtime. Other civilizations joined in the party with their own calendars until Julius Caesar (popular for his salads) decided to make January 1 the official start of the New Year.
Resolution Review – The Babylonians were also the first to make (and probably break) New Year’s resolutions. The most common Babylonian resolution was to return borrowed farming equipment. Nowadays, the most common resolution is to lose weight. Unfortunately, 25% of those making resolutions break them before the end of January.
New Year’s Meal – Many cultures are superstitious when it comes to that first meal of the new year. Pork, cabbage, legumes, lentils, fish, and greens are seen as good luck meal items for the upcoming year. However, it’s widely considered bad luck to eat chicken for a new year’s meal. Chickens bring bad financial luck if eaten.
Big Baller – The original Times Square ball was dropped for the first time on New Year’s Eve, 1907. It was made of wood and iron, weighing 700 pounds. Heavy, right? Well, currently the ball dropping every year weighs 11, 875 pounds, and is 12 feet in diameter. It’s also adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals.
Auld Lang Syne – The song that everybody slurs the lyrics to on New Year’s Eve is an old Scottish ballad, famously transcribed by Robert Burns. Roughly meaning “days long past”, the song gained popularity through Guy Lombardo’s broadcasts starting in 1929.
What New Year’s traditions do you have? Other than nursing that hangover with a festive Bloody Mary, of course.