For as long as there have been calendars, there have been new years. For many, a new year represents a chance to make a fresh start; to wipe the slate clean, make resolutions, set new goals and do something different with their life. However, goals and resolutions all come later. First things first, we’ve gotta party!
While Christmas is for families, new year is for friends (and some family, too). It’s an occasion for cocktails, glad tidings, celebrating wins over the last twelve months, putting to bed losses and looking forward to the future. It’s a joyous occasion that should be celebrated in the best way possible. To get you in the mood, let’s take a look at 10 amazing and fun facts about new year.
- The West Has Been Celebrating New Year For Over 2,000 Years
The Romans knew a thing or two about partying, so it’s hardly surprising that it was those very same rabble-rousers who first made new year’s a national holiday. It took a long time for the yearly calendar to be fixed, but the one we use today is the one that Julius Caesar gave his stamp of approval to. And he decreed that not only did a new year begin on January 1, but that it should also be a public holiday. What a swell guy! We can’t believe he got assassinated after that! He was also the dude who named January after Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways. It’s a very fitting name! However, in a move that also gives us an insight into the man’s vanity, the famous emperor named the month of July after himself. He was still cool, though.
…But The East Has Been Celebrating It Even Longer
It’s pretty cool that the West has been celebrating the new year like it’s AD1, but the East has been celebrating it even longer. In fact, records show that the Mesopotamians got their calendar together as far back as 2000BC, which means that they welcoming in the new year over 4,000 years ago! We just wonder what kind of resolutions they made back then. Would “exercise more” and “change careers” have been as popular?!
- The East Also Used To Give Gifts
These days, it’s not traditional anymore to give gifts on new year’s day in the West. Instead, we just celebrate it with the people that matter the most to us, make resolutions and wake up with a hangover. Way back in the BC years, the Persians absolutely loved the new year so much that they would give gifts to each other. What was one of the most popular gifts? Eggs! Hey, they symbolised productivity, and who couldn’t do with more eggs?!
- It Took England A While To Get Onboard With New Year
Scotland adopted January 1 as their new year’s day in 1602, but England didn’t follow suit until 150 years later. Until then, England’s new year’s day was March 25.
- Almost Half of America Makes A Resolution
If there is one question we’re tired of being asked as we return to the office, it’s “did you make a new years resolution?” “No, I did not,” we groan, knowing full well that we did and that we’ve already broken it many times. We’re probably lying if we tell people we didn’t make a new year’s resolution, because 48% of Americans make at least one. Most resolutions are health based, with “exercise more” being the most popular.
- Champagne Is Mega MEGA Popular
The most drank alcoholic beverage on new year’s is…champagne! Okay we kinda gave that one away in the subheading. But yep, around 360,000,000 glasses of champagne are knocked back by Americans on new year’s. That’s a considerable amount.
- America Has All The Big Celebrations
Not only do Americans get to drink all that champagne, but their country is also home to the top three destinations for celebrating new year’s. These three destinations are Disney World, Las Vegas and New York. Other cities around the world that do new year’s better than mostly everyone else include Sydney, Australia and London, England.
- Germany Has The Most Emotional Celebration
America and Australia might know how to throw a party better than anyone else, but if you want to experience raw emotion on new year’s eve, you’ll need to visit Berlin, Germany. Here, thousands of Germans gather around the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the reunification of their country. It’s okay if you’re not a German national, of course. Anyone can go along, show support and get a bit tearful.
- All New Year’s Traditions Represent Good Luck
Pretty much any new year’s tradition you can think of, from the wacky to the wonderful, are designed to bring us more good luck in different areas of our life. Just think about it: If a tradition is meant to boost fertility, that means we want more luck. If a tradition is meant to boost our finances, that means we want more luck. And what better time to boost our luck than in the new year? And hey, it’s better than a tradition that brings us bad luck, right!?
Speaking Of Traditions…
Let’s face it, there are some seriously weird traditions around the world.
But none are as weird as the Estonian tradition of eating as many as TWELVE meals on new years eve. Why so much food? According to tradition, eating all that food will give the Estonians the strength they need to get through the rest of the year. Makes sense when you think about it. Although wouldn’t it be easier just to eat the right foods each day, so that you never feel weak? Just saying!
Happy New Year!