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12 Fun Facts About New Year’s Eve

Credit: Gettyimages

Happy New 2022

Another year has rolled away and we are about to welcome 2022! Here, we list for you some interesting facts about the celebration of New Year's Eve. Often we take traditions as given without thinking over them. Now, we hope to inspire you to think twice before you adopt the next one.


On behalf of the SWS Scholarly Society, we wish you a great New Year's Eve and a great new 2022 full of Science, Literature, and Art!


Below you will find the list:


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. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar created a calendar with Jan. 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor Janus, the month's namesake.

2. The earliest known New Year celebrations were in Mesopotamia and date back to 2000 B.C.

3. Ancient Persians gave New Year's gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.

4. January is named after Janus, the god with two faces, one looking forward and one looking backward. He is the god of beginnings, transitions, gates, doors, passages, and endings.

5. The song traditionally sung on New Year's, "Auld Lang Syne," means "times gone by".

6. Black-eyed peas, ham, and cabbage are considered good luck if you eat them on New Year's Eve or Day because it is believed they will bring you money.

7. Lobsters and chickens are considered bad luck because lobsters can move backward and chickens can scratch in reverse, so it is thought these foods could bring a reversal of fortune.

8. In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year's Day to bring good luck all year long. The tradition dates back to medieval times.

9. The tradition to kiss at midnight isn't a recent invention. According to old English and German folklore, the first person you come across in the new year could set the tone for the next 12 months.

10. To ensure a year of good luck, firecrackers and noisemakers became a tradition in order to scare away any remaining evil spirits and to ensure a brand new start.

12. Time Square New Year's Eve Ball was first dropped in 1907 after there was a fireworks ban. The original ball weighed 700 pounds and featured 100 25-watt bulbs. Much different from the ball we know today!

13. 2,000 pounds (907kg) of confetti are dropped on the crowd in Times Square at midnight.

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