Before we pop the cork off the champagne, light up the sky with fireworks, and make resolutions that won’t make it past Valentine’s Day, here are fifteen fun facts about New Years Day.

  1. Ethiopia has 13 months. Their current year is 2010 and they celebrate New Year’s on September 11. – Source
  2. Until 2006, the Space Shuttle never flew on New Year’s Day or Eve because its computers couldn’t handle a year rollover. – Source
  3. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was introduced to Japan by German POWs in WWI (who played it for them), and it is now a national tradition to perform it every New Year’s. – Source
  4.  On New Year’s Eve, residents in a small neighbourhood in Johannesburg, South Africa collect old appliances, carry them up to apartment building rooftops and toss them down to the streets far below. – Source
  5. When religion was suppressed in Soviet Russia, Santa was replaced with Grandfather Frost, called the spirit of winter, who brought gifts on New Year’s and placed them under the “New Year tree” – Source
  6. In Korea and some other Asian countries, when you are born, you are considered one year old and everyone’s age increases one year on New Year’s. So if any children are born today (December 29th), on New Year’s Day they will be considered 2 years old! – Source 
  7. In 2010, a “Black Widow” suicide bomber planned a terrorist attack in central Moscow on New Year’s Eve, but was killed when a spam message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her, but nobody else. – Source 
  8. The Reykjavik (capital of Iceland) fireworks display on New Year’s Eve is one of the largest in the world, and most fireworks sales fund rescue operations in the country. – Source
  9. On New Year’s Day in 1976, a man named Danny Finegood changed the Hollywood sign to “Hollyweed” as a college prank in order to celebrate the decriminalisation of marijuana and got an “A” for it. – Source
  10. In Thailand, they celebrate their traditional New Year’s Day with a state sponsored multiple day water fight. – Source
  11. Prior to 1753, Britain celebrated the New Year on 25th March  (Annunciation Day). Furthermore, 1752 only lasted nine months, as the dates from 1st January to 24th March (as well as September 3rd to 13th) were skipped in order for 1753 to begin on 1st January like in other countries. – Source
  12. On New Year’s Day in Akita, Japan there is a tradition where men dress as mountain demons, get drunk, and terrorise children for being lazy or disobeying their parents. – Source 
  13. Every December 25th a town in Peru celebrates “Takanakuy”. Men, women, and children settle grudges with fistfights. Then everyone goes drinking together, ready to start the New Year with a clean slate. – Source
  14. In 2018, you can re-use calendars from these years: 2007, 2001, 1990, 1979, 1973, 1962, 1951, 1945, 1934, and 1923. – Source
  15. Hogmanay is the term for New Year’s Eve in Scotland. In a place called Stonehaven, it is honoured through fireballs swinging and first-footing into a friend or neighbour’s threshold. – Source



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