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According To Google, Louisville, Was The Most Hungover City In America On January 1, 2019.

Every year on December 31st, people around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year. It’s a day to say “goodbye” to the old and “hello” to the new.

  • Also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day, New Year’s Eve is one of the most exciting holidays of the year.
  • New Year’s is also a time to forgive past mistakes and form new habits. Many people make New Year’s resolutions. Although, only 8% of people actually accomplish them. Instead of making resolutions that you’re not going to keep anyway, it’s better to set three or four goals.
  • In Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes during the countdown to midnight, symbolizing hopes for the new year. Around the world, eating anything in the form of a circle or ring symbolizes coming full circle and is considered good luck.
  • The first New Year’s celebrations were thought to be held in ancient Mesopotamia. Because of the calendar at the time, these celebrations took place in March. Ringing in the New Year consisted of an 11-day festival.
  • When the calendar switched from the lunar year to the solar year, the New Year began in January. This occurred in 46. B.C., when an astronomer convinced Julius Caesar to follow the solar year
  • $1.1 Billion – Estimated cost of New Year’s air travel, with at least 6.7 million people expected to pay an average of $165 for a round-trip ticket.
  • 8 in 10 Americans – Spend less than $200 on New Year’s Eve.
  • 45% of Americans plan to celebrate New Year’s Eve with family, and only 15% will attend public events or parties.
  • $758 – Difference in the cost for a couple to enjoy dinner and a show on New Year’s Eve in the most expensive (New York) and least expensive (Philadelphia) cities.
  • 360+ Million – Glasses of sparkling wine are drunk each New Year’s Eve.
  • 17.1% of emergency room visits on New Year’s Eve are drug/alcohol related (most of any holiday).
  • 49,900 – People get hurt in car crashes each New Year’s Eve Holiday.
  • 0.094% – Average BAC on New Year’s Eve, making it the most drunken night of the year.
  • 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, with 22% of Americans admitting that their 2019 resolutions were the same as their 2018 goals.
  • Baby New Year has been a symbol of the holiday since around 600 B.C., starting in ancient Greece when an infant was paraded around in a basket in celebration of Dionysus, the god of fertility (and wine). The baby represents a rebirth that occurs at the start of each new year.
  • The guy credited with Auld Lang Syne didn’t fully write it.  Robert Burns took a Scottish folk song called “Old Long Syne” and put his own spin on it in 1788, which is the version we all know today. Auld lang syne means “times long past.”
  • Long before it was used on New Year’s Eve, a ball on top of England’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich was dropped at 1 p.m. every day (starting in 1833) to help ship captains coordinate their navigation equipment. Similar balls were set up in coastal areas around the world. 
  • The annual tradition of gathering in Times Square for New Year’s started as a party to celebrate the opening of the New York Times building in 1904. Over 200,000 people attended.
  • Though the parties raged on, there wasn’t a ball drop until 1907.  Fireworks were previously used to welcome the new year, but they were banned because burning embers were falling on the crowd. A ball being lowered on a flagpole was a safer bet.
  • The Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds.
  • 2,000 pounds of confetti are also dropped in Times Square.  Confetti may not be a new concept, but in 2015 “wishfetti” became a part of the tradition. People write their wishes for the new year and submit them to the Wish Wall in Times Square (or online) and those wishes are turned into the confetti that falls over the crowd at midnight.
  • Americans drink around 360 million glasses of sparkling wine on New Year’s.
  • Although things got a little friskier back then, ancient Romans are credited with the kissing tradition because of their Saturnalia festival. It was a celebration honoring Saturn, the god of time, where all social norms went out the window. 
  • If you live in Italy, wearing red underwear is considered lucky.  Wearing red underwear on New Year’s will supposedly bring good fortune in the coming year. It’s also considered the color of fertility so for those hoping to conceive, it’s considered double lucky.
  • You can thank a pope for making our new year start on January 1.  The Gregorian calendar was introduced in October of 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII as a revised version of the Julian calendar. It took almost 350 years for the world to get on board. Turkey didn’t make the switch until 1927. 
  • A song that takes 1000 years to play launched on January 1, 2000.  Composer Jem Finer wrote the piece called “Longplayer,” which can be heard at London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf (or over this live stream). It’s being performed by singing bowls and is set to start all over again immediately after it finishes in 2999.  
  • New Year’s Eve ranks fourth on Americans’ list of favorite holidays, with 41% of the population calling it their favorite. Predictably, 78% of Americans love Christmas. Thanksgiving and July 4th came in second and third, respectively.
  • Normally, a million people flock to Times Square to see the ball drop.  This year, though, Times Square will be closed to all crowds.
  • The ball has been dropped annually since 1907, with two notable exceptions — due to World War II light restrictions, Times Square remained dark in 1942 and 1943. Not even COVID-19 can stop the ball from dropping.
  • According to Google, Louisville, Kentucky, was the most hungover city in America on January 1, 2019.
  • Until 2006, the Space Shuttle never flew on New Year’s day or eve because its computers couldn’t handle a year rollover. – Source
  • The tradition of kissing someone at midnight is likely rooted in German and English folklore. The belief was that the first person you encountered at the start of the new year determined your fortunes in the year ahead. Over time, people decided to be proactive about it, making sure they kissed someone they knew and liked at the start of the year.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Wallet Hub

Good Housekeeping

Times Square NYC

Insider

Factinate