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Fun Facts for New Year’s: Wear Red Underwear, Lock Your Car and Eat Black-Eyed Peas

Fun Facts for New Year’s: Wear Red Underwear, Lock Your Car and Eat Black-Eyed Peas

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

Your Car and Eat Black-Eyed Peas By: SuzyRavasio Chudzik November 2, 2012 http://woodridge.patch.com/articles/fun-facts-for-new-years-wear-red-underwear-lock-your-car-and-eat-black-eyed-peas If you’recelebrating New Year’s Eve this year and find a lull in the conversation,impress your family and friends with this New Year’s trivia. ·Accordingto statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, morevehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday throughout theyear. ·Whyshould you ring in the New Year with family and friends? It is thought that the first visitors you seeafter ringing in the New Year would bring you good or bad luck, depending onwho you keep as friends and enemies. Keep your friends close and your enemiesfar, far away! ·Dueto wartime restrictions , theNew Year’s Eve ball was not lowered in 1942 and 1943. {{more}} ·Throughoutthe year, visitors to Times Square in New York City write their New Year’swishes on pieces of official Times Square New Year’s Eve confetti. At the end of the year, the wishes are collected and added to theone ton of confetti that showers the crowd gathered in Times Square incelebration of the New Year. ·Thetop three destinations inthe United States to ring in the New Year are Las Vegas, Disney World and NewYork City. ·Food plays a big role in New Year’s traditions. Eating black-eyed peas,ham or cabbage are thought to bring prosperity. However, stay away from badluck foods like lobsters, because they move backwards, and chicken, becausethey scratch in reverse. It is believed that eating these on New Year’s daymight cause a reversal of fortune. ·InColombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll called Mr.Old Year with memories of the outgoing year and dress him in old clothes fromeach family member. At midnight he is set on fire – thus burning away the badmemories of the year. ·Accordingto this survey , 40to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. Thetop New Year’s resolutions include weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking andbetter money management. By the second week of January, 25 percent of peoplehave abandoned their resolutions. ·InItaly, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day as a symbol of good luck forthe upcoming year. Thefollowing fun facts come courtesy of MSN. Com Glo Back In The Day The first recorded New Year’scelebration dates back 4,000 years to Babylon, when the first moon after thespring equinox marked a new year. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar created a calendarwith Jan. 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor Janus, the month’snamesake and god of beginnings. FourRockin’ Decades In the first “Dick Clark’s NewYear’s Rockin’ Eve” without the legend himself, ABC will honor theAmerican icon with a tribute by celebrating his life . Performersinclude Neon Trees and Carly Rae Jepsen in New York, and Flo Rida, JustinBieber, Ellie Goulding and Jason Aldean in Los Angeles, with Ryan Seacrest asthe show’s new host. What started with a couple of cameras and skeleton crew in1972 has grown to become the most-watched New Year’s Eve broadcast in theworld. Having ABall When fireworks were banned in1907—just three years after the first New Year’s Eve celebration in TimesSquare—officials lowered a ball from a flagpole to signal the end of one yearand the start of another. In 1907, the New Year’s orb was composed of iron andwood and weighed 700 pounds. Today’s ball contains 32,256 LED lights and 2,668crystals, tipping the scale at 11,875 pounds. This year, the Waterford crystalball will have 288 new crystal panels to replace the old ones, with doveschiseled into them to mark the theme “Let There Be Peace.” MusicalShowdown While an estimated 1 billion peopleworldwide watch the Times Square ball drop, thousands of others tune in to thewidely popular Japanese show Kohaku Uta Gassen. The show features twoteams of celebrity musicians that compete in a series of sing-offs. While mostof the artists are Japanese stars, past American participants include PaulSimon and Cyndi Lauper. Baby Love In the film New Year’s Eve,two women compete to have the first baby born in the New Year in order to win a$25,000 prize offered by the hospital. While gifts given in real life are farmore modest, most hospitals in the U.S. do reward the first baby born onNew Year’s Day with diapers, blankets, clothing or gift certificates donated bylocal businesses. Whether they win the prize or not, any baby born on Jan. 1 isconsidered lucky, a distinction enjoyed by author J.D. Salinger andAmerican flag designer Betsy Ross. Sing ASong Though you may not know the exactwords to “Auld Lang Syne,” you’ve probably at least hummed the tuneat past New Year’s parties. Touched by the lyrics he allegedly received from”an old man,” poet Robert Burns sent “Auld Lang Syne” toScottish Musical Museum in 1778. Translated as “Times Gone By,” thesong’s message is that, despite the pain in doing so, we must remember andtoast to those we’ve loved and lost in order to keep them close to our hearts.PuckerUp Thetradition to smooch at midnight isn’t a recent invention. According to old English and German folklore, the first person youcome across in the new year could set the tone for the next 12 months. Thesuperstition doesn’t just apply to singles—if a couple ringing in the new yeartogether doesn’t lock lips, then the future of their relationship might not beall that bright. So be sure to plant one on your significant other when theball drops! Poppin’Bottles The New Year’s drink of choice isarguably Champagne, and over 300 million bottles of it are produced annuallyfrom the strictly defined Champagne region, located 90 miles northeast ofParis. While wine has been produced in Champagne for 2,000 years, the bubblystuff can be traced back to the 17th century, when the cork, which capturedfermentation gases, was developed. Despite popular belief, Benedictine monk DomPérignon did not invent Champagne. However, the legendary cleric did makeseveral crucial contributions to the drink’s development and production.CelebritySightings If you’relooking to rub elbows with the rich and famous, New York, Las Vegas and MiamiBeach are the celebrity hot spots. In Times Square, The Standard Hotel and TheLion tend to attract A-list clientele in NYC. Kim Kardashian will be hosting atThe Mirage,while Pitbull will be rocking out down the street at The Palms.Nicki Minaj is a hot ticket at Caesars Palace and international house DJ Benny Benassiwill be spinning tunes at The Cosmopolitan long into the morning. Piece OfCake The holiday season is known for itssweets, and New Year’s is no exception. It’s a custom in some countries, likeMexico and Greece, to hide a prize inside of a New Year’s cake—whoever finds itin their slice is guaranteed good luck in the year ahead. In Sweden and Norway,people take part in a similar tradition in which an almond is hidden in ricepudding. Honey-drenched treats are popular in Italy, to evoke a”sweet” new year, while ring-shaped donuts are customary in Poland and Hungary. Isn’t ItGrape? Another food-related custom is a bitmore nutritious: Celebrants in Spain eat 12 grapes at midnight to ensure afruitful year ahead, a tradition that began as a solution to a grape surplus in1909. Each grape corresponds with a single month in the upcomingyear: a sour second grape, for example, might foretell a bumpy February. Thegoal for most grape eaters is to swallow all 12 before the stroke of midnight. About TheBenjamins Cabbage, collards, kale and chardare eaten on New Year’s Eve in much of the American South. Since green leaveslook like money, the tradition holds that the more greens a person eats, themore economic success he or she will experience in the year to come. Legumesare also consumed with financial fortune in mind, as beans, peas and lentilslook like coins and swell when cooked. In Brazil, for example, the first mealof the New Year is often lentil soup or lentils and rice.PlayingWith Fire Thousandsof spectators gather in Stonehaven, Scotland each New Year’s Eve to watch thevillage’s men swingblazing fireballs over their heads as they parade the streets. The ancientevent is thought to encourage a pure and sun-filled year.DoThe Polka In Mexicoand South American countries including Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela,it’s customary to ring in the New Year by sporting special underpants: red ifyou’re looking for love and yellow if you’re after money. In the Philippines, people believe that wearing polka dots—ontheir underwear or elsewhere—ensures a promising year ahead. DominoEffect The first spot to celebrate thestart of 2012 will be Kiritimati on Christmas Island, ringing in the New Yearat 5AM EST on Dec. 31. Sydney, Tokyo and London—in that order—will all poptheir bubbly before the Times Square ball and 2,000 pounds of confetti drop inNew York. When Pago Pago in American Samoa welcomes the New Year at 6AM EST onJan. 1, the entire world will have officially entered 2012. EastMeets West Noteveryone celebrates New Year’s on January 1. ChineseNew Year, for example, begins on the first day of the lunar calendar, whichusually falls in either late January or early February. During this time, it iscustomary for each family to thoroughly cleanse the house in an effort to sweepaway ill fortune, to eat Chinese delicacies such as “nian gao,” or sticky rice, and to end the night withfirecrackers. Red paper envelopes full of money are also distributed to thechildren at this time—one of the more popular traditions.ButYou Promised Are yousurprised to find out that the most common New Year’s resolution is losingweight? Other popular resolutions include exercising more, quittingsmoking, saving money, and getting a better job or education. While the hope ofkeeping resolutions is great for business—we spent $62 billion on gymmemberships, diet soda and the like, last year—by March, the lines at thetreadmills start to thin, and the next year, we’re at it again.NewBeginnings Somepeople believe that breaking anything on New Year’s Dayforeshadows a year of other broken things, like friendships and marriages. Manycultures also make sure to not serve any form of fowl on that day because itmeans the family will have to “scratch out” a living for the rest ofthe year. Instead, to ensure a year of good luck, firecrackers and noisemakersbecame tradition in order to scare away any remaining evil spirits and toensure a brand new start.

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