10 Fun Facts about the New Year

January 3, 2019

It’s just the third day into this sparkling new year of 2019. Have you made resolutions? Spoiled them already? Don’t work too hard, because the new year is all about perspective,  and we’ll give you ours: focusing on love and kindness will get you just about anywhere you want to go.

In the spirit of baby 2019, we put together some fun facts about the New Year to keep things light as you ease your way back into real life. So grab some leftover champagne, and take a look below. Happy New Year!

Golden Fireworks by Lesley Barnes

1. The first recorded New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years to Babylon, when the first moon after the spring equinox marked a new year.

2. The modern tradition of partying in Times Square for New year’s started as a 1904 celebration for the opening of the New York Times building! Over 200,000 people attended. 

by Kelsey Garrity-Riley

3. Black eyed peas, ham, and cabbage are considered good luck if you eat them on New Year’s Eve or Day. The fattiness of pork symbolizes wealth and the peas are believed to bring good fortune because they swell when cooked.

4. January is named after Janus, the god with two faces. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is depicted as one looking forward and one looking backward. He is the god of beginnings, transitions, gates, doors, passages, and endings.

Dancing into the New Year by Bodil Jane

5. The tradition to kiss a person comes from old English and German folklore: the first person you came across in the new year could set the tone for the next 12 months.

6. To ensure a year of good luck, firecrackers and noisemakers became tradition in order to scare away evil spirits and protect prosperity in the new year.

by Josie Portillo

7. Americans drink about 360 million glasses of sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 

8. Speaking of Americans, the top New Year’s resolution in 2018 (and almost every year) is to eat better and exercise more—topping the list at 37% those polled in 2018.

Cards by Kate Pugsley and Dinara Mirtalipova

9. 2,000 pounds of confetti are dropped on the crowd in Times Square at midnight.

10. Robert Burns took an older Scottish folk song called “Old Long Syne” and rewrote it in 1788, which became the New Year song we all know today. Auld Lang Syne means “times long past.” 

Let’s Toast by Emily Isabella

Sources: Patch.com, International Business Times