New Year’s Eve … a time to ring in hopes for a prosperous and happy year to come. Last year, I shared a fun post about the tradition of dropping things on New Year’s Eve (think Times Square, then add pickles). This year, I thought you might like to hear some fun facts about last night/first night festivities.
Did you know …
• Julius Caesar declared Jan. 1 an official holiday more than 2,000 years ago. Before that, the start of the New Year didn’t happen until the first new moon following the vernal equinox (in late March), and later, on March 1.
• Americans alone consume 360 million glasses of champagne on New Year’s Eve.
• And here’s an odd one … more cars are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday. (Does the previous night’s reveling make people forget to lock up? Or maybe the thieves merely need to get to the big games?)
• In Japan, Buddhist temples across the country ring bells and gongs 108 times at midnight on New Year’s Eve to symbolize the 108 human behaviors Buddhists consider weaknesses. They believe the bells repent for the bad behavior of the year before.
• In many South American countries, revelers wear colored undergarments beneath their finery: red for love; yellow for prosperity.
• In ancient Persia, people gave gifts of eggs on New Year’s Day to symbolize new beginnings and productiveness.
• Many traditional New Year’s Day meals are thought to bring good luck and prosperity throughout the year; auspicious ingredients include grapes, greens, fish, pork, legumes, and cakes. What are your lucky New Year’s dishes?