Julie Seedorf: What do you know about New Year’s holiday?

Published 9:36 am Monday, December 26, 2016

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at hermionyvidaliabooks@gmail.com.

We play trivia on Tuesday nights with a group of friends. Last week’s trivia revolved around Christmas. Our questions had varied holiday topics such as history, movies, music and decor. My group found out we apparently haven’t been watching enough Christmas movies, listening to the words of Christmas music or we didn’t retain our memory from long ago when we knew all the answers.

Since this is New Year’s week I decided to see what I could learn about New Year’s Day. Let me warn you this is a mish-mash of facts. I am documenting as many facts as I think might come up in trivia this week so if you feel your brain is confused, just go with my method of madness. You might learn something new or remember something you used to know.

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• The first New Year’s was celebrated 4,000 years ago by the Babylonians.

• People ring in the New Year’s with family and friends because it is said the first people you see will give you good or bad luck. My advice to you to is to make sure you celebrate with people who like you because you might have bad luck all year if you celebrate with your enemies. Maybe we have undercover enemies, and that is why some people have bad luck all year long.

• More vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than any other holiday. I would advise you to lock up your car while you are celebrating.

• The ball in Times Square was first dropped in 1907.

• The first ball weighed 700 pounds and had 25-watt bulbs and was made of wood and iron.

• The ball now weighs 11,875 pounds is 12 feet in diameter and is decorated with 2,668 Waterford crystals.

• The ball was not lowered in 1942 or 1943 because of World War II.

• The New Year’s Eve ball came about because of the result of a ban on fireworks.

• New Year’s is Jan. 1 because our Gregorian calendar is based on the Julian one, and Julius Caesar made January month one.

• January is named after a god with two faces, the Roman god Janus.

• Times Square used to be called One Times Square.

• The words to the song “Auld Lang Syne” originated from a 1788 old poem by Robert Burns. A few graphs of it resemble a poem written in 1711 by James Watson. Burns attributed it to unwritten remarks by an unnamed old man.

• Eating black-eyed peas, ham and cabbage are rumored to bring prosperity. Bad luck is eating lobster because it moves backwards or chicken because they scratch in reverse.

• It is rumored also in Italy people wear red underwear on New Year’s as a symbol of good luck through the year.

• The first place New Year’s arrives is Samoa.

• The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashana.

• Celebrity Reese Witherspoon was born on New Year’s Day.

• And finally on New Year’s Day in Brasstown, North Carolina, they have “The Possum Drop” and they lower a possum.

However you celebrate the new year enjoy and be safe. I wish you a prosperous new year. May the first person you see be someone you love. Remember the New Year’s kiss!