The Italians do it with red underwear; the Dutch with homemade cannons. The inhabitants of Christmas Island are the first to do it each year, while we Americans do it by, well, stealing cars apparently.
What we all do in our own particular ways is ring in the new year. Here are some fun facts and traditions related to the day, ranked in order of interest by a poll that surveyed 1,004 American adults online. The poll was conducted by GameIt, the shopping game app:
1. More cars are stolen in the U.S. on New Year’s Day than on any other holiday.
2. Jan. 1 was established as New Year’s Day by Julius Caesar.
3. The earliest recorded festivities to welcome the new year took place in Babylon 4,000 years ago (and were celebrated in late March).
4. The Italians, Spanish, Mexicans and Bolivians all share a custom of celebrating the new year by wearing red underwear for good luck.
5. The first inhabited place to experience New Year each year is Kiritimati, more commonly known as Christmas Island.
6. Banging bread on the walls to frighten away dead relatives was a traditional Irish custom for celebrating the new year.
7. The Dutch have a custom of welcoming the new year by firing homemade cannons created by heating milk jugs with tight lids.
8.TIE Throwing furniture out of the window to welcome the new year is a custom in the Hillbrow neighborhood of Johannesburg, South Africa.
8.TIE On New Year’s Day 1946, Emperor Hirohito of Japan officially announced that he was not a god.
10. The Belgians and Swiss ranked last and Brazilians first in a recent global vote for best nationality to spend New Year’s Eve with.
For more, visit gameit.us. – edited by Georgette Gouveia