The annual celebration of New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite times of the year. It is during this time that we reminisce about the past year and, at the same time, look ahead, plan, and make resolutions for the future. Millions and millions of people around the world take part in the festivities and revelry as they welcome in the New Year.
As with many of the holidays that we have throughout the year, I always find it very interesting and enjoyable to find some history and fun facts about each day. This holiday is no different. So, I decided to share some interesting facts with you about the celebration of New Year and some other intriguing things…so…here we go.
Interesting Things That Are Dropped New Year’s Eve
Most people from around the world, know that every year, New York City welcomes in the New Year in Times Square, by dropping a big “ball” which gradually descends from the top of a pole to the bottom, where it rests while all kinds of lights blink and shine as the new year begins. It all started in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. In 1907, the iron and wood ball weighed 700-pounds and was covered with 25-watt bulbs made of iron. Today, it weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is adorned with 2,668 Waterford crystals. Meanwhile, close to a million people in the square, dance, party, hug and kiss, and have a good time at this joyous moment. Around the world, approximately 1 billion people watch world-wide festivities from their televisions or computers.
But are there other things that are dropped in celebration of New Year’s instead of a giant ball? You bet there is!!! Here are some remarkable objects that are “dropped.” So, without further ado, here are some things from around the United States that I think you will find entertaining.
In Brookville, Florida, a giant tangerine was dropped 40 feet in 2009.
In Traverse, Michigan, a cherry is dropped.
In Flagstaff, Arizona, a pine cone is dropped from a hotel.
In Prescott, Arizona, a boot is dropped
In South Lake, California, a gondola is lowered.
In Temecula, California, a bunch of grapes is dropped.
In Niagara Falls, Ontario, a 10-foot guitar is dropped from a specially designed 120-foot scaffold at the Hard Rock Café.
In Easton, Maryland, a red crab is dropped.
In Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a 100-pound stick of bologna is dropped.
In Easton, Pennsylvania, and giant M&M is dropped
In St. George’s, Bermuda, a paper-Mache Bermuda onion covered with Christmas lights is dropped.
In Black Creek, North Carolina, a large red heart drop is lowered.
In Eastover, North Carolina, a three-foot-tall, thirty-pound flea is dropped.
In Elmore, Ohio, a sausage is dropped.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, a flying pig is “flown”, not dropped, demonstrating to everyone that there is at least one occasion “when pigs fly.”
In Red Lion, Pennsylvania. A wooden cigar held by a lion is raised.
In Panama City, Florida, an 800-pound beach ball is lowered from a tower 12 stories high.
In Praire du Chien, Wisconsin, A carp (real but dead) caught by a local fisherman and weighing between 25-30 pounds is lowered.
In Vincennes, Indiana, a giant 18-foot, 500-pound steel, and foam watermelon is raised 100 feet during the final 60-second countdown to midnight.
…..and there are many, many others!!!
Several Amazing Facts About the New Year Celebration
The Babylonians celebrated the New Year over 4,000 years ago.
The New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne,” means, “times gone by.”
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.
The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are usually eaten to celebrate.
In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.
In some countries, the use of fireworks are used for more than just celebrations…they are also believed to scare off evil spirits and bring good luck
44% of American adults plan to kiss someone at midnight.
61% of people say a prayer.
Over 1 million people line the 40 miles of shoreline of the city of Sydney, Australia.
In Japan, at the stroke of midnight, Buddhist monks strike the gongs 108 times in an effort to drive out the 108 human weaknesses.
New Year’s Day is the oldest celebrated holiday.
Many people in America, eat Black Eyed Peas, cabbage, and ham on New Year’s Day for good luck.
In South America & Spain.
A person will take 12 red grapes and 12 green grapes and at midnight, they eat their first 12 red grapes, thinking about each month that passed this year, and all the things that they are grateful for that happened this year. Then they eat the 12 green grapes, thanking in advance for each new month’s blessings that will come the next year. (I know, it’s a lot of grapes to eat, so most people only do 12 grapes, and I guess they combine the gratitude for the months past and the months to come) I remember Pink or red underwear was usually for Christmas and yellow undergarments for good luck in the New Year.
No matter what tradition, this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect with gratitude for the experiences and lessons we receive this year, and to pan on the areas we want to improve or change as we have an exciting fresh chapter in our lives to start anew. (Contributed by Amira of Body and Soul Nourishment Blog).
In Germany, people will bake donuts, called, Pfannkuchens, which are usually filled with jelly or liquor. As a joke, a few donuts are filled with mustard. The unfortunate soul who bites into this morsel is considered someone who will have bad luck in the new year.
A person wearing red underwear on New Year’s eve is thought to bring love, good luck, and success in the year to come.
Ever wonder why people kiss at the stroke of midnight? This tradition possibly began in England and Germany. It is believed that the kiss, will set the tone for the relationship of the two people involved in the smooch, for the upcoming year.
People decorate their houses in the colors…each depicting the hopes that they have in the upcoming year. Red for love, yellow for work. and green for money.
Every New Year, there is a parade called the “Junkanoo” parade. People usually spend months decorating and creating their costumes with the winners taking home a prize.
In 1920, our friends in the Great White North started the traditional Polar Bear swim in which participants jump into the frigid North Bay on New Year’s Day.
The people of this country believe that they can predict the future of the upcoming year by slicing an apple in half and observing the shape of its core. Interesting.
Buddhist temples throughout the land of Japan, usher in the New Year by ringing their bells 108 times…once for each of the human sins in the Buddhist beliefs. Many of the Japanese people believe that by doing so, it cleanses them from all of their sins from the previous year.
Many Chinese people will paint the doors of their homes red…which represents happiness and good fortune. They also hide their knives so that no one cuts themselves since it is believed that if someone gets cut, it could change their fortune for the new year ahead of them.
In Stonehaven, during their New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Scots swing large balls of fire (which represent the sun) around during the Hogmanay festival by trained professionals then cast them into the sea. This tradition is meant to scare off evil spirits and purification.
On New Year’s Eve, courageous divers plant trees under frozen lakes (YIKES!). According to tradition, the planting of the “Yolka” (i.e. the Siberian Christmas tree) signifies the coming of “Father Frost” and symbolizes starting over.
Do you know of any other traditions that celebrated around the world? Share them and I will add them to this post and give your site credit (if you wish).
Well, I hope that you enjoyed these tidbits and facts. I would like to personally wish each and every one of you the healthiest and happiest New Year!!
And here’s to many, many more!
Some Resources (countries): http://www.lifehacks.com & http://www.insider.com