New Year’s Day is the closest thing we have to a worldwide public holiday. Over the years, many traditions and superstitions have grown. Here are some interesting facts and superstitions that might spark some conversation with friends and family.
The famous lowering of the New Year’s Eve Ball in Times Square first happened in 1907. It was an illuminated 700 pound iron and wood ball covered with one-hundred 25-watt light bulbs. Today, the ball, designed by Waterford Crystal, is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds. It’s covered with 2,668 Waterford crystals.
* Dropping the ball was a practice started in the 1800’s in England. A "timeball" was dropped daily at one o'clock to allow sailors to synchronize their chronometers.
* More vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday according to the NICB.
* Austrian’s consider it bad luck to eat lobster on New Year’s because lobsters walk backwards, which might cause your luck to reverse.
* All year long visitors to Times Square write their New Year’s wishes on official pieces of Times Square confetti, which are then added to the one ton of confetti that is poured out over the crowd on New Year’s Eve.
* Old Lang Syne means Old Long Since.
* 40%-45% of American’s make one or more resolutions each year. Most resolutions are to start a new habit than break an old one.
* Italians believe wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve will bring you luck in the new year.
* Latinos believe that holding money in your hand at mdnight will ensure economic prosperity.
* More than 20% of all champagne bottles sold in the U.S.A. are sold in December.
* Around 600 B.C., the ancient Greeks had a tradition of carrying a baby in a basket to honor Dionysus and symbolize his rebirth...starting the tradition of a baby symbolizing the new year.
* Brazilian’s wear white clothes on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck and peace in the new year.
* Not only are fireworks beautiful to watch, but some believe setting off fireworks dispels bad spirits and unpleasant memories.
Whatever your new year traditions are, may the year ahead be a happy one. Wishing you much health, happiness and prosperity.