According to History.com, New Year’s Day “customs that are common worldwide include watching fireworks and singing songs to welcome the new year, including the ever-popular ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in many English-speaking countries. The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have caught on first among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They reportedly would vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.)

“In the United States, the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight. Millions of people around the world watch the event, which has taken place almost every year since 1907. In time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron-and-wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing nearly 12,000 pounds. Various towns and cities across America have developed their own versions of the Times Square ritual, organizing public drops of items ranging from pickles (Dillsburg, Pa.) to possums (Tallapoosa, Ga.) at midnight on New Year’s Eve.” (Read more here.)


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