With New Year’s right around the corner, we here at Northstar Liquor Superstore are beginning to think back fondly (well, mostly) on 2019 and look ahead to what the year 2020 might hold. We’re also preparing for the inevitable stampede of post-Christmas re-stocking of bars and liquor cabinets for the all-night celebration on December 31, because, after all, we run a liquor store.
To help you pass the waning hours of 2019, here are some fun trivia tidbits about New Year’s’ dates, traditions, and celebrations throughout time. To learn more about the incredible history of New Year’s Day, check out History Channel online, and remember to shop at Northstar Liquor Superstore for all of your New Year’s Celebration wine, mixers, beer, and spirits.
Interesting New Year’s Facts
1. Evidence of the earliest known celebrations of a “New Year,” comes from ancient Babylon where an 11-day long celebration was had starting on the first new moon following the vernal equinox (roughly September 21 by the Julian calendar).
2. The ancient Egyptians recognized the New Year and reset their calendars upon the first flooding of the Nile river, an event that happened annually in the summer as snow melted on Ethiopian mountains further south.
3.The ancient Romans attached the start of their New Year to the vernal equinox as well. However, that was on the older, 10-month calendar believed to have invented by Romulus, one of the two founders of Rome who was raised by wolves.
Establishing January 1 as New’s Year’s Day
4. In 46 A.D., then Emperor of the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar, together with some of the brightest minds in the empire, reformed the calendar into the Julian calendar with the first day of the new year taking place on January 1.
5. To make sure that the dates on the new Julian calendar aligned with the correct astrological and natural events, 90 days were added to the year 46 A.D.
6. Legend has it that Julius Caesar chose January first to honor the two-faced Roman god Janus, believing that there was powerful meaning in Janus’ ability to both look to the past and the future at the same time.
7. In medieval Europe, the Catholic Church replaced the tradition of recognizing New Year’s Day on January 1 and instead moved it, for a time, to December 25, and, then again later, to March 25.
8. Pope Gregory XIII re-established January 1 as New Year’s Day with the release of his calender — the aptly named Gregorian calendar that we still use today — in 1582 A.D.
New Year’s Traditions
9. Worldwide, many cultures share New Year’s traditions that represent hope for the new year or closure from the last. For example, throughout the western hemisphere, beans are a common part of New Year’s meals as they are thought to look like coins and might bring financial luck. Meanwhile, across Europe, ring-shaped cakes and baked goods are eaten to honor the full-circle event of one year ending while another simultaneously begins.
10. The tradition of the American ball drop in New York Times Square began in 1907. Many communities around the nation bring in the new year with their own uniquely flavored drops such as:
- Pickles – Dillsburg, PA
- Possums – Tallapoosa, GA
- Pinecones – Flagstaff, AZ
- And more
We hope you found these New Year’s facts fun and enjoyable, and we hope that you’ll choose to shop at Northstar Liquor Superstore for your New Year’s party supplies this year and all the years to come. Have a happy and safe New Year from everyone at Northstar Liquor Superstore.