5 New Year fun facts: Did you know it is a good omen to kiss someone at 12am on Dec 31?
How much do you really know about celebrations centered around the New Year? Read on for more weird but fun facts associated with December 31 celebrations.more lifestyle Updated: Dec 30, 2017 09:49 IST
The month of December signifies celebration — first there’s Christmas and then New Year’s. Fun, parties, gifts, family functions, a chill in the air and good food! But how much do you really know about New Year? Like did you know about the connection between the ‘Hollywood’ sign and New Year’s? Or why it’s good luck to kiss someone when the clock strikes 12? Here are five facts about New Year’s that you might not know:
1. It is believed that it is good luck to kiss someone when the clock strikes 12 on December 31. This tradition dates back to the time of the masquerade balls which were held across Europe during the Renaissance period.
The masks which people wore during the dances symbolised evil spirits and the negative of the year gone by. At midnight, the participants would remove their masks and kiss each other, to symbolise a cleansing act to banish all the evils of the previous year and start the year on a good note.
2. Every New Year’s evening, around 1 million people are present at New York City’s Times Square to watch the famous ball drop. The Times Square Ball is located on the roof of One Times Square.
The ball drops 141 feet in 60 seconds at 11:59 pm and stops at midnight to signify the start of the New Year. There are also live performances by musicians and other artists.
3. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is special to the Japanese every New Year’s.
It is because during World War 2 German prisoners of war introduced their Japanese captors to Beethoven’s music.
4. On January 1, 1976, a man called Danny Finegood changed the Hollywood sign (in Los Angeles) to ‘Hollyweed’ as a practical joke to celebrate he decriminalisation of marijuana. It was on this day that California implemented its relaxed marijuana law. He and his friends used $50 curtains to camouflage the two O’s in the sign to E’s. The sign was returned to its original state the same day.
The act was repeated on January 1, 2017 by the prankster and videographer Zachary Cole Fernandez, who was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and released shortly after.
5. The first New Year’s celebration dates back to around 4,000 years. Rome’s ruler, Julius Caesar, declared January 1 as a national holiday.
January was named after Janus, the two-faced God of doors and gates. One face of Janus looked forward, while the other looked back, signifying looking back at the old year and welcoming the new.
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First Published: Dec 30, 2017 09:49 IST