5 Random Facts About New Years

Here are some random facts about New Years.

1.  New Years used to be celebrated March 1st.  The early Roman calendar  designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March.  In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as New Year’s Day.

2. Nobody Knows where the midnight kiss on New Years Eve came from.  Millions of couples—and total strangers—use the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve as an excuse to swap kisses. How this trend got started is a mystery, although we do know that kisses were part of the Roman Festival of Saturnalia (held in December), and midnight kisses were traditionally thought to bring good luck in England and Germany.

3.  A Fireworks ban led to the iconic New Year’s Eve Times Square ball drop.  On December 31, 1904, The New York Times threw a raucous street party in Times Square. The event was a huge hit, and soon enough, Time Square New Year’s Eve bashes became an annual tradition, which ended with midnight fireworks shows. But in 1907, the city government outlawed that practice, citing safety concerns. So, the owner of The New York Times—replaced the pyrotechnics with a lightbulb-studded ball of wood and iron.

4.  The original New Years Eve novelty glasses came out in 1991.  Seattleites Peter Cicero and Richard Sclafani are credited with inventing those number-themed eyeglasses now seen at New Year’s parties all over the world. Their debut set, which spelled out “1991,” sold 500 pairs, according to the Wall Street Journal. The next year, about 3000 sets were purchased.

5.  “Auld Lang Syne” is traditionally sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788. He may have based it on a folk song. The words auld lang syne mean “times gone by”.


(Info Please / Business Insider / Mental Floss / Wall Street Journal / Wikipedia)