Brilliant’s Top Ten New Year’s Fun Facts

We here at Brilliant wish everyone a happy and safe New Year! Enjoy these ten fun facts about New Year’s Eve and Day that you may never have known!  

  1. janus-2-300x272The earliest known New Year celebrations were in Mesopotamia and date back to 2000 B.C. At that time, each year began on March 20th, also known as the Spring Equinox. However, In 1582, The Gregorian calendar – which marks January 1st as the new year – was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church.
  1. January is named after Janus, the god with two faces, one looking forward and one looking backward.
  1. “Auld Lang Syne” was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788, and the words mean “times gone by.”
  1. new-years-eve-300x169The first rooftop celebration atop One Times Square, a fireworks display, took place in 1904 and was produced by the New York Times to inaugurate their new headquarters in Times Square and celebrate the renaming of Longacre Square to Times Square.
  1. The first ball dropping celebration atop One Time Square was held on December 31, 1907.
  1. The New Year’s kiss has been around since the Middle Ages. Historians say that the New Year’s kiss originated from either German and English folklore, both customs contending that the first person you encounter in a new year will set that year’s tone.
  2. Nearly a quarter of Americans – 22% – cop to passing outimes-square-ball-drop-9-300x227t before the clock strikes twelve.
  1. In 1942 and 1943, the ball lowering was suspended due to the wartime dimout. The crowds who still gathered in Times Square celebrated with a minute of silence followed by chimes ringing out from an amplifier truck.
  1. The original New Year’s Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in diameter. It was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs.
  1. In 2008, a new New Years Eve ball was introduced. The ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds, built to withstand high winds and fluctuated temperatures. Waterford crystals introduce a different pattern for each New Year’s celebration.