View Full Version : Finally Fantastic Friday.......Trivia

Star lover
December 22nd, 2017, 08:24 AM

A look at the origins of some of the world's most cherished New Year's traditions — from the familiar to some customs you may never have realized could provide good fortune in the year ahead.

Times Square

Before the ball, there were fireworks. The first New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square in New York City was held in 1904, culminating in a fireworks show. When the city banned fireworks two years later, event organizers arranged to have a 700-pound iron and wood ball lowered down a pole, according to the Times Square website. In the years since, it's become a tradition for Americans to watch the ball start dropping at 11:59 p.m. and to count down the final seconds before the new year begins.


Auld Lang Syne

The song literally means "old long ago." The work by 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns has endured the ages and spread beyond Scotland and throughout the English-speaking world. The song is about "the love and kindness of days gone by, but ... it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future."

Kissing at midnight

Perhaps you'll have a New Year's Eve kiss that was the defining moment in a sweeping love story — like the one Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan shared in the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally. Or maybe you'll pucker up with the person who happens to be standing next to you because, well, that's just what people do. But why? Not doing so will ensure a year of loneliness, according to tradition. The custom may date to ancient European times as a way to ward off evil spirits.



Many New Year traditions surround food. Here are a few:

- The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain. Revelers stuff their mouths with 12 grapes in the final moments of the year—one grape for every chime of the clock!
- In the southern US, black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune.
- In Scotland—where Hogmanay is celebrated—people parade down the streets swinging balls of fire.
- 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.
- The Irish enjoy pastries called bannocks.
- In India and Pakistan, rice promises prosperity.
- Apples dipped in honey are a Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) tradition.
- In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floor - and allowed to remain there!


Colorful undies

In some Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, it's believed the color of your undergarments will influence what kind of year you'll have. Tradition holds that yellow underwear will bring prosperity and success, red will bring love and romance, white will lead to peace and harmony and green will ensure health and well-being.



Although the pop of a champagne cork signals the arrival of the New Year around the world, some countries have their own beverage-based traditions.

- Wassail, a punch-like drink named after the Gaelic term for “good health,” is served in some parts of England.
- Spiced “hot pint” is the Scottish version of Wassail. Traditionally, the Scots drank to each others’ prosperity and also offered this warm drink to neighbors along with a small gift.
- In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.


Polka dots

Many in the Philippines wear polka dots because the circle represents prosperity. Coins are kept in pockets and "are jangled to attract wealth."


Making a lot of noise—from fireworks to gun shots to church bells—seems to be a favorite pastime around the world.

- In ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten off demons.
- In China, firecrackers routed the forces of darkness.
- In the early American colonies, the sound of pistol shots rang through the air.
- Today, Italians let their church bells peal, the Swiss beat drums, and the North Americans sound sirens and party horns to bid the old year farewell.

Broken Plates (Denmark)

In Denmark they save all of their unused dishes and plates until the 31st of December when they affectionately shatter them against the doors of all their friends and family.


Suitcases (Colombia)

In Colombia they carry their suitcases around with them all day in hopes of having a travel filled year.

Cemetery Sleepover (Chile)

In Chile families spend the night in the company of their deceased loved ones by sleeping at the cemetery.


Bread Power (Ireland)

In Ireland they hit the walls with bread to get rid of evil spirits.

This is my last trivia post......for this year! Hee hee. Sorry.... couldn't help myself. I'll be back after the first of the year. Hope y'all have a blessed Christmas and joyful New Year!

Georgie Girl
December 22nd, 2017, 09:06 AM
I'm going to be sure I'm covered for the New Year and wear every color of those undies :D

Star lover
December 22nd, 2017, 09:30 AM
I'm going to be sure I'm covered for the New Year and wear every color of those undies :D

Just don't let them get all in a bunch......:icon_rofl:

December 22nd, 2017, 09:44 AM
Our tradition in the Atkinson household is to hold a Seafood fest.

December 22nd, 2017, 09:51 AM
I guess J was practicing for the colorful undies the other day. He put on 4 pairs and he was so proud of himself and wore them until lunch.

December 22nd, 2017, 09:55 AM
PS> Anita, Thank you so much for digging up all of the trivia you provide for us. It's a great way to start the day!

Sandy Navas
December 22nd, 2017, 09:56 AM
The things we learn if we just hang around here for a while.

Thanks for the information, Anita - and do keep it coming.

December 22nd, 2017, 09:58 AM
Thanks Anita for the interesting and informative posts.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas!

December 22nd, 2017, 11:55 AM
Every morning I look forward to morning hellos and trivia. You have gifted us well this year with interesting trivia and fun facts. The other day I was sharing one of the facts with DH and he said, "where do you get this stuff" . I replied, "my forum" notice I use the term MY forum and not the forum. I am so proud to be part of this group. You all have embraced me with a love I have never known from other women. Thank you all so much and Merry Merry Christmas. Peace to all who walk with joy in their heart.

December 22nd, 2017, 08:40 PM
I love his thread I have learned many things from his writings, I am one of those who take the grapes but I assure you that we eat them calmly because between bell and bell there is enough time to swallow each grape it is very fun and the tradition only has about 100 years and is due to a year with a lot of grapes harvest and farmers organized a party and encouraged to take the grapes and so year after year the custom grew and today throughout Spain the twelve end-of-year grapes are taken. I send you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for everyone in this wonderful forum that is also mine