We’ve arrived! Today is the first day of the New Year. Well, tomorrow, if you’re reading this on Monday night. But if you are, why aren’t you out celebrating and ringing in the New Year, hmmmmm?
Anyone decide to make any New Year’s Resolutions? I generally don’t – I don’t know why, just haven’t been a resolution kinda gal, I suppose. I’m looking for 2019 to be inspiring, though, so that’s something, right?
I’m sure everyone is busy with fun antics today (you know, to start the year off right, antic-wise…heh!) so since today is all about random, I thought I’d entertain you with various random New Year’s Trivia for fun!
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who at the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year’s Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts. (How much you wanna bet that Princess Nagger and Little Dude will be claiming their shoes left scattered were on purpose?)
In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances. (Alrighty then – guess I better get my suitcase ready and head around the block)
In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year’s Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual. (We could modify this tradition with wine…after all, it’s made from grapes)
The Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball came about as a result of a ban on fireworks. The first ball, in 1907, was an illuminated 700-pound iron and wood ball adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs. Today, the round ball designed by Waterford Crystal weighs 11,875 pounds, is 12 feet in diameter and is bedecked with 2,668 Waterford crystals. (Small towns everywhere do fireworks on New Year’s Eve – and New Year’s Day, and…poor puppies get scared!)
Throughout the year, visitors to Times Square in New York City write their New Year’s wishes on pieces of official Times Square New Year’s Eve confetti. At the end of the year, the wishes are collected and added to the one ton of confetti that showers the crowd gathered in Times Square in celebration of the New Year.
It was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. It is still held in some regions that special New Year foods are the harbingers of luck. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune. Eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a doughnut) symbolizes “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune. In Dutch homes, fritters called olie bollen are served. (That New Year resolution to lose weight might as well wait until January 2nd…bring on the donuts!)
Food plays a big role in New Year’s traditions. Eating black-eyed peas, ham or cabbage is thought to bring prosperity. However, stay away from bad luck foods like lobster (because lobsters move backwards) and chicken (because hens scratch in reverse). It is believed that eating these on New Year’s Day might cause a reversal of fortune. I wonder if you can instigate good fortune by playing songs by the Black Eyed Peas?
Eat Pork and Cabbage on New Year’s Day for luck. This is something I learned while living in Pennsylvania for 16 years – I couldn’t figure out why it was a big deal to go over to Grammy Joyce and Papa Eddie’s house for New Year’s Day supper (besides the obvious of spending time with loved ones) where Grammy Joyce always put up a big feast of cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, and various other feast-mode foods. I was never a fan of cooked cabbage, but I loved her cabbage rolls.
Since the kids aren’t big fans of cabbage rolls, I’ve morphed into making a Slow Cooked Cabbage with Apples and Pork Roast – boy, does it turn out awesome every time! The reason people eat pork on New Year’s day is that pigs relentlessly root ahead as they eat, as opposed to the backwards scratching of chickens and turkeys, and so are considered a symbol of progress.
As for the cabbage, the long shreds of cabbage or kraut are thought to symbolize a long life. And then there’s the whole cabbage-green-money connection, even though American paper money hasn’t always been green.
According to a survey, 40 to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. The top New Year’s resolutions include weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking and better money management. But, by the second week of January, 25-percent of people have abandoned their resolutions.
In Brazil most people wear white clothes on New Year’s Eve to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow. (what about the ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule?)
In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day as a symbol of good luck for the upcoming year. (I’m not even going to ask, nor am I going to tell.)
Speaking of underwear… Wear your underwear inside out until after midnight. Wearing your underwear inside out on New Year’s Eve, then turning them right side out during the first few minutes of the new year will guarantee plenty of new clothes in the new year.
Light a candle for health, love or peace. Lighting candles on New Year’s Eve can help make the new year prosperous and positive. Lighting a green candle will bring you good health, while a yellow candle will help your financial troubles. Orange candles are thought to bring wisdom, and blue candles will bring peace. And if you’re looking for love and passion? Try lighting a red candle.
If I light any candles, you know it’ll be in a candle holder like this:
Put a lover’s portrait under your pillow. Not all rituals and superstitions are about forgetting the past. Anyone who isn’t willing to call it quits with a former flame, or who is simply hoping to catch a certain someone’s attention in the new year, should take their beloved’s photograph, tie a red ribbon around it and place it underneath their pillow.
See what I did there? My fellow Outlander fans will understand.
According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday throughout the year. (Be careful!)
Link up your Random (or not) here:
Keeping the random alive (barely) – feel free to snag a badge and play along – one for my wino friends:
And one for my non-wino friends:
My friend MessyMimi participates in Happy Tuesday each week, so I thought I’d join in the fun, too!
Stay tuned…I’ll grab her linky code and update this post accordingly. You know, tomorrow morning. 😉