Once in awhile, I enjoy watching Food Network, in particular, The Pioneer Woman series featuring Ree Drummond. She is a very talented chef living on a ranch in America’s heartland with her husband, Ladd, and their children. Ree has a natural knack for showing off her culinary skills, while injecting humor and kindness throughout each episode.
As I was pondering this blog, I did a bit of research online and I found a fun blog The Pioneer Woman shared earlier this month about New Year’s Eve trivia. I found it entertaining and informative, and I actually learned a few things when I took her New Year’s trivia quiz, so I thought it would be fun to share her 20 entertaining bits of trivia about New Year’s and its traditions.
- New Year’s Eve celebrations in Time’s Square began as early as 1904, and it evolved to include the ever-popular ball drop in 1907.
- The New Year’s Eve ball that drops to signify the beginning of the New Year is covered in Waterford crystal and weights 11, 875 pounds.
- The ball-dropping ceremony to mark the passage of time originated as early as 1833 in England’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
- More than a billion people watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop in person and globally on TV?
- The most common New Year’s resolution in 2021 was to exercise more and adhere to a healthier diet, according to a YouGov survey.
- Dick Clark was not the original host of the treasured Time’s Square New Year’s Eve celebration. Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians big band began broadcasting the festivities on the radio in 1929, which continued for 48 years.
- The New Year’s Eve ball drop has occurred for every year since 1907, with the exception of 1942 & 1943, during World War II blackouts.
- More than 2000 pounds of confetti are dropped on Time’s Square on New Year’s Eve.
- Approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the time February rolls around.
- The traditional New Year’s song, “Auld Lang Syne” was originally a poem by Robert Burns?
- The familiar Baby New Year icon is based on a Greek tradition of escorting a baby throughout their villages to honor the Greek god Dionysus.
- According to WalletHub, only 12% of Americans go to bed before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
- New Year’s Eve is America’s 4th favorite holiday to celebrate. The first is Christmas, the second is Thanksgiving and the third is the Fourth of July.
- In the southern United States, the tradition of eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day stands for good luck and prosperity in the New Year. Hoppin’ John is typically made with black-eyed peas that represent pennies or coins, pork and rice, and it is typically served alongside collard greens, which represent American currency, and cornbread that is the color of gold, all of which points to prosperity. On January 2nd, the name of the leftovers changes to Skippin’ Jenny, which is supposed to represent frugality in the New Year to lead to greater prosperity.
- Wassail, an English drink made from cider, ale, mead, apples and spices, used to be the beverage of choice on New Year’s Eve.
- The Washington Post reports that kissing at midnight in celebration of the New Year originated in English and German folklore.
- In Spain, people eat 12 grapes – one for each month –at the stroke of midnight for good luck in the New Year.
- During the Scottish New Year celebration known as Hogmany, it is tradition to kiss everyone in the room.
- In upper New York, it is common for residents to break peppermint pigs during the holidays to bring prosperity and good luck in the New Year.
- Ancient Persians used to gift eggs to others as a symbol of productiveness in the New Year.
I hope you enjoyed my pursuit of New Year’s trivia, because I certainly did!
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The Pioneer Woman