Fun and Weird New Year’s Trivia
New Year Celebrations and Traditions are a longstanding part of our culture as humans. Striving to always be just a little bit better than we were last year, or even yesterday. We often need tradition to ground us towards being better and at least a reminder that we are part of a bigger picture. Perhaps we more than enjoy traditions, it may be that we as humans and contributors to society, might be lost without them. Here are 21 fun, weird and strange facts about the origins and variety of celebrations that have formed who we are up to January 2023.
1. 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.
2. Despite the hype, only 15% of Americans spend New Year’s Eve at a party or public event.
3. In the U.S., 45% of people ring in the New Year with friends and family, while 24% prefer to stay at home, and 3% don’t celebrate at all.
4. Those who head to the famous Times Square party throw 1.5 tons of confetti. The trash generated takes 300 sanitation workers 15 to 16 hours to clean up.
5. An average of 44% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution before the night is over.
6. Only 31% of people stick with the promises they made to themselves the prior year. A whopping 81% fail by February.
7. The four most popular types of goals people set are to exercise, eat well, lose weight, and save money.
8. The confetti in Times Square has thousands of people's wishes written on them. In 2015 "wishfetti" became a part of the tradition. People write their wishes for the new year and submit them to the Wish Wall in Times Square (or online) and those wishes are turned into the confetti that falls over the crowd at midnight.
9. Many Brazilians welcome the New Year at the beach. It is considered good luck to make seven wishes while jumping seven waves— so you can count on a good old New Year's beach party down in Rio de Janeiro!
10. If you hear plates breaking in Denmark on New Year’s Eve, it’s considered good luck. The Danes hold a tradition of throwing plates at the front door of family and friends’ homes to welcome good fortune for the new year.
11. ABC's 'New Year’s Rockin’ Eve' show is a long standing tradition. Dick Clark began hosting the show in 1974. In December 2004, Clark suffered a stroke and Regis Philbin stepped in at the last minute to host. In 2005, Clark officially handed hosting duties over to Ryan Seacres
12. Most New Year’s resolutions aren’t taken too seriously. Nearly 80% of resolutions made at the beginning of the year are forgotten by February. So no worries if you need to restart at any point.
13. 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.
14. Baby New Year is actually really old. Baby New Year has been a symbol of the holiday since around 600 B.C., starting in ancient Greece when an infant was paraded around in a basket in celebration of Dionysus, the god of fertility (and wine). The baby represents a rebirth that occurs at the start of each new year.
15. The guy credited with Auld Lang Syne didn't fully write it. Robert Burns took a Scottish folk song called "Old Long Syne" and put his own spin on it in 1788, which is the version we all know today. Auld lang syne means "times long past.