breaking news

Police: Mother facing charges after Urbana elementary student comes to school with cocaine in system

5 facts about New Year’s Eve


As the roller coaster year that was 2017 comes to a close, plans for New Year’s Eve celebrations are underway.

>> Read more trending news 

Before “Auld Land Syne” begins to play, here are five facts about New Year's Eve:

New Year's Eve wasn’t always Dec. 31

Different cultures celebrated the new year at different times of the year. CNN reported that some cultures considered the autumn equinox, or winter solstice, to be the start of the new year. Babylonians held an multi-day festival to celebrate the new year around the spring equinox.

The first New Year’s Eve celebration in what is now Times Square was in 1904

According to PBS, New Year's Eve celebrations moved to the New York Times building in 1904 in Manhattan. There was no big time ball, but there was a midnight fireworks display. Prior to the move, spectators rang in the new year at Trinity Church in Manhattan as bells chimed and marked the end of one year and the beginning of another.

The time ball tradition in NYC emerged when fireworks didn’t go very well

Fireworks from efforts of The New York Times Company to bring spectators to its building caused hot ash to descend on the city streets. The New York Police Department banned fireworks soon after, and The New York Times' chief electrician created the time ball for the celebrations instead. The first ball drop celebration occurred December 31, 1907, on top of what was at the time the Times Tower and One Times Square.

Different foods have different meanings when cooked around this holiday

In the southern United States, collard greens and black-eyed peas are prepared for money and good luck, respectively. Similar meanings hold true for leafy greens and legumes in Ireland, Germany and Italy.

In Japan, long noodles are an indicator of a long life. Ring-shaped cakes in Mexico, Greece and other places around the world indicate the year has come full-circle.

“Auld Lang Syne” was never meant to be a holiday song

Most experts say the song “Auld Lang Syne” written by Robert Burns in 1700s, according to ABC News. The song was popularized by Guy Lombardo when it was used as a segue between radio shows at midnight in 1929, although the midnight timing was not on purpose.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

‘Being LGBTQ is not an illness’: Record number of states banning conversion therapy
‘Being LGBTQ is not an illness’: Record number of states banning conversion therapy

A record number of jurisdictions this year are taking aim at conversion therapy for minors: an attempt to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity through tactics as obvious as hypnosis or as subtle as inducing shame.  Almost 50 bills have been introduced in 24 states targeting conversion therapy, which has been discredited by dozens...
The flip phone is the new protest statement
The flip phone is the new protest statement

NEW YORK — Exactly one year ago, Roman Cochet swapped his $500 iPhone 7 for a $30 LG flip phone. Overwhelmed by constant alerts, Cochet felt his time was disrupted, his creativity drained. His flip doesn’t do email, Instagram, Facebook, Uber or news alerts. The 30-year-old Parisian painter, who lives in Brooklyn, said he regrets nothing...
Identity theft one of fastest growing crimes

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 2.68 million Americans were affected by identity theft in 2017. This equated to over $602 million dollars lost to identity thieves. Identity theft can come in many forms, such as credit card fraud, bank and loan fraud, utilities...
Wine and beer festival returns to Simon Kenton Inn in Springfield
Wine and beer festival returns to Simon Kenton Inn in Springfield

Raise your glass, then raise it again and again. There will be a lot of pouring from bottles and kegs ahead. At least 50 wines, several craft beers and a variety of hot and cold foods will be aplenty when Simon Kenton Inn and Heidelberg Distributing present the Second Annual Wine and Craft Beer Festival, 4-8 p.m. Saturday, April 14 at Simon Kenton...
5 centenarians share strange secrets to longevity
5 centenarians share strange secrets to longevity

What is the secret to longevity? This question taunts all of humanity.  Although we have yet to discover a fountain of youth, centenarians – individuals who live to be over 100-years-old – can potentially give us clues on to how to live longer, healthier and happier lives. By taking a closer look at their lifestyles, genetics...
More Stories