Did You Know? – It’s A First Tuesday Fact Feast!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s the first Tuesday of 2014 so here are a few lesser known facts about the New Year, its traditions and its celebrations.

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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January is named after Janus, the god with two faces,

one looking forward and one looking backward.

janus

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The Scottish ‘First Footer’ tradition or superstition originates

in the belief that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring

either good luck or bad luck for the rest of the year,

depending on who he/she was.

First Footer

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The tradition of fireworks and making loud noises on New Year’s Eve

is believed to have originated in ancient times,

when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

New-Years-Desktop-Pictures-New-Years-Eve-in-Sydney

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Traditionally, it was thought that people could alter the luck

they would have throughout the coming year

by what they did or ate on the first day of the year.

It has, therefore, become important to celebrate first day of the New Year

in the company of family and friends.

new year party

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Almost half of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions,

mainly about losing weight, stopping smoking, being better organized,

staying fit and healthy and spending less and saving more.

new year resolutions

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More than half of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions

are able to keep them for less than a month.

resolutions broken

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In Denmark, it is a good sign when you find broken dishes in front of your door.

Danish people specially keep a few plates that they break

to place at their friends’ doors on New Year’s Eve.

broken plates

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Many parts of the U.S. celebrate New Year by consuming black-eyed peas

and other legumes, as it has been considered good luck in many cultures.

Black-Eyed-Peas

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Ancient Persians gave New Year’s gifts of eggs,

which symbolized productiveness.

Eggs

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“Auld Lang Syne” is traditionally sung at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

It was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1788

and may have based it on a folk song.

The words “auld lang syne” mean “times gone by”.

Robert Burns

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More than a third of a billion glasses of Champagne and other sparkling wine

are consumed during the Christmas / New Year celebrations.

champagne glasses

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In Brazil at New Year many people dress in white

as a sign or hope for peace for the coming year.

brazil new year

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The Time 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 bedazzled with 2,668 Waterford crystals.

The only time the New Year’s Eve ball was not lowered was

in 1942 and 1943 due to wartime restrictions.

times-square-ball

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The tradition of ringing in the New Year dates back four thousand years,

to the time of the Babylonians who celebrated it at

the first full moon after the spring equinox.

HNY Bells

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In 46 BC Julius Caesar made January 1st the first day of the year.

In England and its colonies, including America,

we didn’t do the same until 1752.

julius caesar

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The top three destinations in the United States

to ring in the New Year are

Las Vegas, Disney World and New York City.

Las Vegas New Years

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Many cultures believe that anything given or taken on New Year,

in the shape of a ring is good luck,

because it symbolizes “coming full circle”.

rings

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In America more vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day

than on any other holiday throughout the year.

StolenCar

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The Spanish ritual on New Year’s Eve is to eat twelve grapes at midnight.

The tradition is meant to secure twelve happy months in the coming year.

12-uvas-nocheviejas

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The Ethiopian Calendar has twelve months with 30 days each and a

thirteenth month called Pagume with five or six days depending on the year.

Their current year is still 2006 and they celebrate New Years on September 11.

ethopian calendar

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