Fun Facts for Your New Year’s Eve

New Years EveHere’s a few things to know about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to impress your company at the end of this year and the beginning of the next.

Facts: December 31, 2013 and January 1, 2014 - New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are on a Tuesday and Wednesday.

History: The earliest known New Year’s date back to 2000 B.C. in Mesopotamia.

Early Romans used March 1 as New Year’s Day, while various other cultures used the autumn equinox or winter solstice to mark the new year.

The Gregorian calendar marks January 1 as the new year, and in 1852 the Roman Catholic Church adopted the Gregorian calendar.

January is named after Janus, the god with two faces, featuring one looking forward, the other back.

Traditions: New Year’s is a time when many people often make resolutions to break bad habits and start good ones.

Ancient Persians gave eggs as New Year’s gifts, symbolizing productiveness.

Majority of New Year’s traditions are believed to bring good luck in the next year. Parts of the U.S. observe the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.

Auld Lang Syne: “Auld Lang Syne” (meaning “times gone by”), written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, is traditionally sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Times Square: The first rooftop celebration atop One Times Square took place in 1904, which was a fireworks display produced by The New York Times to inaugurate their new headquarters in Times Square and celebrate the renaming of Longacre Square to Times Square, however the first ball dropping celebration wasn’t held until 1907.

In 1942 and 1943 the ball lowering was suspended due to the wartime dimout. The crowds who still gathered in Times Square celebrated with a minute of silence followed by an amplifier truck ringing out chimes parked at One Times Square.

The original New Year’s Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds, was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs and was five feet in diameter.

November 11, 2008 – A “new” New Years Eve ball is introduced. A geodesic sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing in nearly at 6 tons! It is built to withstand high winds and Waterford Crystal introduces a different pattern for each New Years celebration.

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