21 Trivia Facts for New Year’s Day

(Last Updated On: December 31, 2020)

Alright, 2020’s over. Earth’s gone around the Sun one more time, except this time we got to observe Murphy’s Law in real time almost every day. Unless you were a billionaire, apparently. In which case you got like untold more billions? That’s a rather dower trivia fact for the New Year, so let’s just take a hot second. Then we can think about how 2021 isn’t necessarily going to be better than 2020 unless we make some very big changes. Or something. Let’s just look at fun New Year’s related trivia. Let’s save everything else for when the champagne wears off. 

21 Trivia Facts for 2021

1. While over 50% of those surveyed make New Year’s resolutions, almost 80% of them are abandoned by the following February. Rather short lived. 

Further Reading: Why Do We Make New Year’s Resolutions?

2. The New Year’s Eve Ball was first dropped in Times Square 1907.

3. Also there are 7 versions of the New Year’s Eve Ball.

4. The New Year’s Eve Ball is pretty big, coming in with a 12 foot diameter and weighing 11,875 pounds (5386.4 kg). Maybe it’s the one who needs a gym New Year’s Resolution?

5. More Ball trivia, it has over 2,600 triangles manufactured by Waterford Crystal on it.

6. Along with a bunch of triangles, the Ball sports 32,256 LEDs.

Further Reading: Why Do We Drop the Ball on New Year’s Eve?

7. We can probably trace that whole Baby New Year thing to the Greeks. It was a celebration of Dionysus’ rebirth. 

8. The New Year Baby tradition was brought to Americans by Germans, though. Not the Greek god of wine.

9. Drink wassail if you want a good harvest next year. It’s more of a Medieval Yuletide thing.

10. You know that celebration in Times Square? They drop like 3,000 pounds of confetti. 

11. The Twelve Grapes of Luck are a Spanish tradition that’s exactly what it sounds like. Eat 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve with each strike of the clock bell. 

12. Most people made the resolution to save money or exercise more in 2020. Oops.

13. The Gregorian calendar was largely adopted in 1582.

14. Many think January is named after the Roman deity Janus–god of beginnings, gates, and endings. Though Roman almanacs actually cite Juno as January’s patron. We do celebrate New Year’s Day for Janus, though. Maybe we should make them fight over the title.

15. Haiti declared sovereignty on January 1st,m 1804. 

16. New Yorkers smash a peppermint pig for luck. 

17. There are technically 38, different local time zones across the world. Which means you can celebrate the death of 2020 38 times!

18. Americans drink some 360 million glasses of champagne on New Year’s Eve. 

19. Letting fireworks go on New Year’s Eve dates back to ancient traditions; ones where people wanted to scare malevolent spirits away. These were things like firecrackers or other noisemakers back then. We use the colorful ones now.

20. American’s find New Year’s Eve to be their 4th favorite holiday, on balance. 78% of Americans love Christmas more, maybe because of the gifts?

21. Why do we celebrate January 1st as the beginning of the New Year? It’s a holdover from the Julian calendar, before the Christians had most of the world adopting the Gregorian one.

See how movies celebrated New Year’s Eve here.



About Kyler 705 Articles
Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.