Happy New Year 2022- Some Interesting Facts!
The New Year is celebrated around the world with great passion and enthusiasm. The end of the 31st December of the year at 12 o’clock midnight and the start of the next year’s 1st January signify the start of a New Year.
Here are some interesting facts you might be interested in knowing!
1) Resolutions & Promises
New Year’s resolutions usually revolve around breaking bad habits or starting good ones. Roughly 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and 25% of them break them by mid-January.
2) The Beginning
The earliest known New Year’s celebrations date back to 2000 BC in Ancient Mesopotamia.
3)As the Romans Did
In Ancient Rome, New Year’s was on March 1. The Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, and the new year began at the vernal equinox. The calendar, however, became out of sync, and in 46 BC, Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar, which closely resembles our modern Gregorian calendar.
4)Sacrifice to Janus
The Romans celebrated the new year by offering sacrifices to Janus, the Roman god of change and beginnings, in hopes of being granted good fortune for the year. They would decorate their homes with laurel branches and attend wild parties.
5) Open Doors
Superstition dictates that at midnight on New Year’s Eve, all doors to the house must be opened to assist the old year in finding his way out. Until the old year leaves, the new year will be unable to come in.
6)Ringing the Bells
In Japan, Buddhist temples all over the country ring their bells 108 times at midnight to symbolise and get rid of the 108 types of human weakness.
7)Toss it Out the Window
In parts of Italy, people welcome in the New Year by tossing old things out of their windows. By tossing out the old, they make room for new and lucky things to enter their households and lives in the coming year.
8)Popping the Cork
Enjoying a glass of champagne is a common New Year’s tradition. Originally popularized in the court of Louis XIV, the associations with wealth and royalty trickled down to the middle classes as a form of “aspirational drinking.” Over time, bubbly became associated with celebration, and in the 19th century, newspapers began to associate champagne with holiday family gatherings. By the 20th century, champagne became a must for New Year’s Eve, and it’s now a staple of New Year’s celebrations.
9)Clock Strikes First
The first countries to celebrate New Year’s are those located immediately west of the International Date Line. The island nations of Samoa, Tonga, and Kiribati ring in the new year a full 14 hours before the UK.
10)Grapes at Midnight
In Spain, eating grapes at midnight is both a tradition and a superstition. At the stroke of midnight, Spaniards eat 12 grapes symbolising 12 lucky months ahead. In some areas, the grapes are also believed to ward away witches and general evil.
11)Make Some Noise
New Year’s Eve is often celebrated with fireworks and noisemakers. In ancient times, fire and noise were said to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck. Fireworks were invented by the Chinese, and they are credited with linking them to New Year’s celebrations.
12)Dropping the Ball
The ball drop in Times Square is a long-standing New Year’s ritual, and the tradition began over 100 years ago. In 1907, fireworks were banned in New York City, so the city decided to try something different. Instead of fireworks, they lowered a 700-lb ball made of wood and iron.
13)Song for a New Year
The song “Auld Lang Syne” is synonymous with New Year’s Eve. The version of the song that’s most widely sung today is based on a poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns. The title translates literally to “old long since,” but is really more like “old times” or “olden days”.
14)A Southern Tradition
In the American South there is a tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s for luck. Black-eyed peas bring good luck, and the greens signify money and ensure a prosperous new year. The tradition was originally African, but spread through the South, especially the Carolinas, and can now be found on restaurant menus throughout the South close to New Year’s Eve.
15)Lighting Up the Sky
In 2014, Dubai lit up the sky with a huge New Year’s fireworks display. The extravaganza featured over 400,000 pyrotechnics firing over 400 parts of the Dubai shoreline. The display got a Guinness World Record for largest firework show ever.
The Yule log is a key symbol of New Year’s, and is regarded as a sign that light will win over darkness. The log is kept in the fireplace, and, as the custom goes, it should burn for a whole night and smolder for 12 days, symbolizing each month of the year. After the 12 days, it should be put out with a proper ceremony.
“Hogmanay” is the Scottish word for the last day of the year. Customs vary throughout Scotland, but the most widespread custom is called “first-footing,” which starts immediately after midnight. The tradition involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbor, and the giving of symbolic gifts brings luck to the householder. Traditionally, tall, dark-haired men are preferred to be the first-foot.
18)Smash a Plate
In Denmark, it’s tradition to smash dishes against your friend’s front door at midnight. Finding a large pile of broken china at your door is considered lucky, because it means you have lots of loyal friends.
The month of January is named for the Roman god Janus. Janus presides over doors, beginnings, and endings, and he is depicted as having two faces: one looking toward the new year, and one looking back at the old.
On New Year’s Eve 2016, some parts of the world experienced an extra second just before midnight. The “leap second” is added to keep the planet’s rotation in line with atomic clocks. Since 1972, 26 leap seconds have been introduced, but only people who work with computer systems are typically affected by the extra second.
21)Two Dark Years
The ball in New York City has dropped every year but two since 1907. Due to a citywide “dim-out” to cut back on energy costs during the war, and to protect the city from Axis bombings, New York City took a hiatus from dropping the ball in 1942 and 1943. Instead, the crowds observed a minute of silence.
22)Do as the Romanians Do
In Romania, tossing a coin into a river on New Year’s Eve is said to bring good luck.
23)Talk to the Animals
The people of Belgium go beyond giving New Year’s greetings to family and friends: they greet pets and livestock as well. They believe that talking to the animals brings health and good luck in the coming year. A similar tradition exists in Romania, where farmers try to hear their animals talk on New Year’s.
24)Time Travel is Possible
Believe it or not, it is actually possible to celebrate New Year’s Eve twice in a row. The islands of American Samoa and Samoa are 100 miles apart, but thanks to the International Date Line, they’re separated by 24 hours. By travelling from Samoa to American Samoa, it’s possible to rewind the clock and celebrate twice.
The tradition of kissing someone at midnight is likely rooted in German and English folklore. The belief was that the first person you encountered at the start of the new year determined your fortunes in the year ahead. Over time, people decided to be proactive about it, making sure they kissed someone they knew and liked at the start of the year.
26)Time balls were invented to help sailors.
Long before it was used on New Year’s Eve, a ball on top of England’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich was dropped at 1 p.m. every day (starting in 1833) to help ship captains coordinate their navigation equipment. Similar balls were set up in coastal areas around the world.
27)The island nation Kiribati rings in the new year first.
Kiribati, also known as Christmas Island, is located in the Central Pacific. They celebrate throughout the nation at each village’s maneaba or meeting house, where all social and political activity takes place.
28)New Year’s is terrifying for children in Akita, Japan.
There’s a local tradition called Namahage where grown men dress up like demons to scare children into behaving for their parents. They go from house to house yelling things like “Are there any crybabies at home?” or “Are naughty kids around?”
29)If you live in Italy, wearing red underwear is considered lucky.
Wearing red underwear on New Year’s will supposedly bring good fortune in the coming year. It’s also considered the color of fertility so for those hoping to conceive, it’s considered double lucky.
30)But stay away from lobster and chicken.
Lobster and chicken are both considered bad luck foods. According to superstition, if because of a lobster’s ability to move backward and a chicken’s ability to scratch itself backwards, if you eat either on New Year’s, you won’t be able to move forward. So, bring on the bacon!
31)Round or ring-shaped foods hold special meaning.
Incorporating a round food into your New Year’s meal symbolizes that the year has come full circle. Hello, donuts and bagels.
32)Ancient Babylonians celebrated New Year’s in March.
The new year used to coincide with the arrival of spring. A 12-day festival called Akitu marked the occasion, which was more about praying than it was about finding a midnight kiss.
33)And Ethiopia rings in the new year on September 11.
Their calendar began in the eighth year of the common era (when our year counting started). This solar calendar derived from the Egyptians consists of 13 months.
34)You can thank a pope for making our new year start on January 1.
The Gregorian calendar was introduced in October of 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a revised version of the Julian calendar. It took almost 350 years for the world to get on board. Turkey didn’t make the switch until 1927.
35)The reason January is called January is actually kind of deep.
It’s been widely reported that the month was named for the Roman god Janus, but it’s actually rooted in the Latin word “ianua,” which means door. The name was chosen to symbolize the opening of a new door that happens when the new year begins.
36)America also follows the Rose Bowl tradition which is not seen anywhere in the world. Under this tradition, 18 million flowers are exhibited with floats.
37)Dutch people follow this custom of burning Christmas tree and putting on fireworks on the New Year eve. They belief behind this tradition is that, burning Christmas tree denote removing the old and putting on fireworks means welcoming the new.
38)Exchanging gifts on New Year Eve also dates back to ancient times. Back in time, Persians used to gift eggs on New Year which means productivity.
39)There is this tradition called Estonian practice where people eat 7, 9 or 12 meals on the New Year eve. The belief behind the tradition is that the meals they eat will give them the strength of that many people in the coming year.
40)Countries like Southern US, Ireland, Germany and Italy eat green leafy veggies and legumes and believe that it will bring financial fortune.
41)Another custom followed by Denmark is making an evening meal named Kransekage. In this custom, they prepare a dessert, which is a cone-shaped cake and it is decorated with flags and firecrackers.
42)Spanish people eat exactly 12 grapes, no less, no more on 31st midnight. While eating grapes, they make wishes to the god. People following this tradition believe that it would bring good luck to them.
43)Greek people hang onions to their doors on the New Year eve as a tradition. They do it with a belief that it will bring good luck to the children in house.
44) Another tradition that Greek people follow is breaking pomegranates at their doorsteps. Similar to the other traditions of different countries, this tradition is also believed to bring good luck and happiness.
45)New Year is not called as New Year in Belgium. They call it Sint Sylvester Vooranvond. People over there prepare champagne and children write letters to parents with good wishes and lots of love.
46) Finnish people have this unique tradition that they follow in the New Year day. They call the tradition as molybdomancy. The tradition involves telling fortunes and in the name of it they melt led in a small pan and the melted solution is put into a cold water bowl. The metal then turns into solid form and the shape that it forms into is used to predict the fortune of the person in the coming year.
47)On the New Year day, Japanese eat long noodles with a belief that they will have long life.
48) Pork is considered as a mandatory food on the New Year day by the people of Portugal, Hungary, Austria and Cuba as they believe that it denotes prosperity.
The new year symbolises a fresh start and constantly teaches us to keep moving forward. The purpose of this festival is to reflect on what we did in the previous year, whether successful or failed, to learn from our mistakes, and to look forward to the future with new hope.