As we bid adieu to 2019, here are 15 awesome New Year’s Facts to read before we enter a promising year of immense possibilities.
1st January was officially made the first day of the year by Julius Caesar when he updated the Julian Calendar in 45 BC.
January, the first month of the year is named after the Greek God Janus who was the god of beginnings, and transitions. He is depicted as having two faces, one looking behind at the past and the other looking ahead towards the future.
Geographically, the first country to celebrate the New Year is Kiribati (Christmas Islands) and the last country to celebrate is Samoa Islands.
The traditional New Year’s song Auld Lang Syne was written by the poet Robert Burns who is said to have based it on an old folk song. You can listen to the acappela version by Home Free here :
Baby New Year is to New Year’s what Santa is to Christmas. The symbol of the Baby (which represents rebirth of the year) can be traced back to ancient Greece where babies were paraded in baskets during the festival of Dionysus, the God of fertility and rebirth.
Antarctica hosts a musical event every New Year’s called the Ice Stock Festival at McMurdo Station. The fest is celebrated by over a thousand people. Heres a glimpse of the New Year fever at the end of the Earh . Brrr!
South Korea follows a system of assigning ages to its citizens wherein everybody ages by a year on the New Year. Your age increases on New Year’s day instead of your actual birthday.
25th December sees residents of Chumbivilcas Province, Peru intensely engaged in an annual festival called Takanakuy where families, neighbors and friends (age, class and gender no-bar) settle their year-long grudges in the good ‘ol fashioned way : a full on , no-nonsense fistfight. The New Year thus begins on a fresh note and a bloody nose. Catch the action in the video below :
Akita, Japan sees the New Year’s being celebrated in a peculiar manner. Men dress as mountain monsters and go around scaring children who’ve been naughty during the year. Geez!
Thailand has a LIT way of celebrating Songkran, the Thai New Year : crazy waterfights in public places. Waterbaloons, water guns, even truckloads of water – you name it. Blastoise, I choose you!
“Stay Healthy”, ‘lose weight’, ‘stay organized’, ‘quit smoking’ seem to be among the most common New Year’s resolutions and if one is to believe the statistics, most of them are broken within the first two weeks of January. *You’re not alone*
Twelfth on our list is the Spanish tradition of stuffing 12 grapes during the countdown towards the New Year. Oscarama has captured the essence of the tradition in this video:
Thirteenth on our list is the Japanese Buddhist tradition on ringing bells
13 times a whopping 108 times while entering the new year. The bells are rung 108 times in order to ward off 108 human weakness.
Spongebob and Homer Simpson are burnt in Ecuador to celebrate the New Year. Yes, you heard that right. Well, almost right. Paper-stuffed scarecrows (often based on comic characters) are burnt on New Year’s Eve in Equador as shown on Josephbfun’s video. Panama also celebrates New Year’s in a similar fashion : by burning what is known as muñecos ,effigies of well known people (especially politicians). The burning of the effigies is symbolic of saying goodbye to all the miseries of the past year (which explains why politicians are perennial favourites). Good riddance, really.
According to the Chinese Calendar 2019 is the year of Pig. The previous Year of the Pig was 2007 and the next is slated to be on 2031.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!