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Another year has come and gone, and we celebrate this grand event in many different ways.
How much do you know about New Year celebrations?  Take this small quiz and find out! 

 

(Answers appear when you hover over the party favors by each question... but NO FAIR PEEKING!

Answers are also given at the end of the questions, in case Father Time ran off with the favors!)

 

 

NEW YEAR TRADITIONS

1. A) return borrowed farm equipment1. One tradition of the season includes making New Year's resolutions. This tradition dates back to the early Babylonians.  Modern resolutions include the promise to spend more time with family, lose weight or quit smoking. The most popular Babylonian resolution was to

A) return borrowed farm equipment

B) fight less with neighbors

C) build a bigger home

D) study religion

        

2. C) ripening of the orange crop in California2. The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers. It also celebrated the

A) New Year

B) anniversary of the rose

C) ripening of the orange crop in California

D) first football game of the new year

           

3. B) Roman chariot races - In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival. 3. Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the Tournament of Roses in 1902, the following year it was replaced by

A) the European soccer championship game

B) Roman chariot races

C) a National musical concert

D) nothing

 

4. A) Greece - It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth. 4. The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in 600 B.C. in

A) Greece

B) Jerusalem

C) Babylon

D) Africa

 

   5. D) baby to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus. 5. Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a

A) star to symbolize the star seen by the wise men

B) cross to symbolize Jesus’ death

C) clock to symbolize the passing of time

D) baby to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus

        

6. A) Germans - They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century. 6. The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the

A) Germans

B) Italians

C) Irish

D) Native Americans

 

7. C) "old long ago" - or simply, "the good old days."7. The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after Burns' death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means

A) “Happy New Year”

B) “old friends together”

C) "old long ago"

D) “it’s been a long time”

 

FOR LUCK IN THE NEW YEAR

8. B) celebrate the first few minutes of a the new year with family and friends - Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. 8. It was once believed that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common to

A) drink champagne

B) celebrate the first few minutes of a the new year with family and friends

C) sing “Auld Lang Syne”

D) set off fireworks

 

9. C) a tall dark-haired man9. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be

A) a rich uncle

B) a pregnant woman

C) a tall dark-haired man

D) your neighbor

        

10. A) eat donuts10. Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that good fortune is theirs on New Year’s Day  if they

A) eat donuts

B) share a ring of fruit cake

C) serve all food on round plates

D) form a circle with friends at midnight to drink their champagne

 

11. D) all of the above - Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day. 11. Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming

A) black-eyed peas with hog jowls or ham

B) cabbage

C) rice

D) all of the above

E) none of the above, as they are all symbols of bad luck

 

12. D)  'washing someone out of your life' by the end of the year -  The 'washing out' thought typically meant through death. 12. An old tradition has it that you should not do laundry on New Year’s Day.  The thought was that if you did laundry, 

A) you would have to give those clothes to the person who caught you washing them

B) the clothes would be too small by the end of the year

C) you would permanently stain the clothes the next time you wore them

D) you risked 'washing someone out of your life' by the end of the year

 

13. A) bring you good fortune for the new year13. Putting a penny on the windowsill on New Years Eve will

A) bring you good fortune for the new year

B) bring you fewer debts in the new year

C) collect dust before the end of the month

D) bring good health in the new year

 

Around the world, different cultures have their own traditions for welcoming the new year.

 

14. B) keep out evil spirits and bring happiness and good luck - They also have a good laugh as the year begins to get things started on a lucky note.14. The Japanese hang a rope of straw across the front of their houses to

A) remind neighbors to stay out

B) keep out evil spirits and bring happiness and good luck.

C) raise the Japanese flag at midnight and sing their national anthem

D) throw their shoes out the door

 

15. C) yellow - the color of spring 15. In West Bengal, in northern India, people like to wear pink, red, purple and white flowers. Women favor

A) pink

B) red

C) yellow

D) blue

 

16. A) shrines16. Hindus put ______________ next to their beds so they can see beautiful objects when they wake up to the new year.

A) shrines

B) photo albums

C) mirrors

D) flowers

 

17. B) the traditional polar bear swim. People of all ages don their swim suits and take the plunge, an event that is sure to get you started in the new year with eyes wide open.17. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadians enjoy

A) champagne on ice

B) the traditional polar bear swim

C) having their New Year’s party at sunrise on January 1

D) a week-long celebration

 

18. C) the Mummers' Parade - This tradition relates back the Swedish who settled outside of Philadelphia. Marking the occasion were the loud noises that filled the air as they paraded down the streets.18. The United States rings in the New Year with its largest celebration since 1908, the dropping of the ball in New York's Time Square.  Then on New Year's Day it celebrates with the Tournament of Roses Parade, held for over 100 years in Pasadena, California, by decorating floats with thousands of flowers, seeds and other plant materials.  In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania they have

A) a “Brotherly Love Festival”

B) their annual “Liberty Bell Picnic”

C) the Mummers' Parade

D) the dropping of the Red Heart, similar to the ball in New York

 

19. D) a community celebration of the visual and performing arts - Started in Boston in 1976, an organization called First Night promotes alcohol-free festivals in 186 American cities, 16 in Canada, plus Hastings, New Zealand and Greenwich, England. Typical experiences include ice sculptures, dancing, storytelling, theater, poetry, films and, at the stroke of midnight, an elaborate fireworks display.19. A fairly new New Year’s Eve tradition that is starting to spread worldwide is

A) rice tea instead of champagne, since rice is a symbol of luck

B) door-to-door singing of “Auld Lang Syne” (like caroling)

C) ice-skating at the town square

D) a community celebration of the visual and performing arts

 

About the Ball at Times Square

 

20. B) 1904 – Dick Clark started his reign as host in 197220. Revelers began celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square in

A) 1868

B) 1904

C) 1936

D) 1972

 

21. (C) 1907 - This original Ball, constructed of iron and wood and adorned with 100 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. In 1920, a 400 pound ball made entirely of iron replaced the original. 21. The New Year's Eve Ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square in

A) 1904

B) 1915

C) 1907

D) 1932

 

22. A) the "dimout" of lights in New York City – This occurred in 1942 and 1943, during the war. The crowds who still gathered in Times Square in those years greeted the New Year with a moment of silence followed by chimes ringing out from One Times Square. 22. For two years, the use of the Ball was suspended due to

A) the "dim-out" of lights in New York City

B) the high cost of electricity

C) faulty wiring resulting in fires

D) a vote of the state legislature

 

23. B) 150 pounds23. In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with an aluminum ball weighing a mere

A) 50 pounds

B) 150 pounds

C) 280 pounds

D) 325 pounds

 

24. C) for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign - In 1989, the traditional Ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to brightly light the sky above Times Square. 24. From 1981-1988, red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple

A) in honor of America’s apple growers

B) because New York is known as the “Big Apple”

C) for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign

D) because the apple was the first fruit eaten in Eden at the beginning of time

 

25. D) aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes and computer controls25.  In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with

A) mirrored skin, tinsel, and diamonds

B) fiberglass skin, gold bangles and speakers

C) foil skin, “Christmas lights”, tinsel and gold tinsel

D) aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes and computer controls

 

26. B) 199826. The aluminum Ball was lowered for the last time in

A) 1996

B) 1998

C) 2000

D) 2004

 

27. B) Waterford Crystal - The new crystal Ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials, reminding us of our past as we gazed into the future and the beginning of a new millenium. This Ball, which remains the current version, made its first descent during the last minute of the 20th century, at the Times Square 2000 Celebration. 27. 1999 - For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year's Eve Ball was completely redesigned by

A) Mayor Rudy Giuliani

B) Waterford Crystal

C) Alexander Calder

D) Daniel Swarovski

 

The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball Today

 

28. F) – (A) and (B) – a geodesic sphere, the Ball is is covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that vary in size and range in length from 4 inches to 5 inches per side.  For the 2005 New Year's Eve celebration, 72 of the crystal triangles featured the new "Hope for Wisdom " design, consisting of a symbolic pinwheel motif.  The wheel recognizes a milestone of human achievement and represents wisdom.  The remaining 432 triangles feature Waterford designs from previous years, including the Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, Hope for Abundance, and Star of Hope triangles.  These crystal triangles are bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball. 28. The Ball is

A) 6 feet in diameter

B) weighs approximately 1,070 pounds

C) Has over 1,000 lights

D) All of the above

E) (B) and (C)

F) (A) and (B)

 

29. A) 168 – these light bulbs were exclusively engineered for the New Year's Eve Ball to enhance the Waterford crystal. 29. The exterior of the Ball is illuminated by _____ Philips Halogená Brilliant Crystal light bulbs

A)168

B) 527

C) 783

D) 2,005

 

30.C) 432 - 208 clear, 56 red, 56 blue, 56 green, and 56 yellow.  It also has 96 high-intensity strobe lights, which together create bright bubbling bursts of color. The exterior of the Ball features 90 rotating pyramid mirrors that reflect light back into the audience at Times Square.  All 696 lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors are computer controlled, enabling the Ball to produce a state-of-the-art light show of eye-dazzling color patterns and a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square. 30. The interior of the Ball is illuminated by ___________ Philips light bulbs

A) 62

B) 137

C) 432

D) 618

 

31. D) the building owners of One Times Square 31. The New Year's Eve Ball is the property of

A) Donald Trump

B) the city of New York

C) the state of New York

D) the building owners of One Times Square

 

 

Answers

 

NEW YEAR TRADITIONS

1. A) return borrowed farm equipment

2. C) ripening of the orange crop in California

3. B) Roman chariot races - In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival.

4. A) Greece - It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.

5. D) baby to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

6. A) Germans - They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century.

7. C) "old long ago" - or simply, "the good old days."

8. B) celebrate the first few minutes of a the new year with family and friends - Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year.

9. C) a tall dark-haired man

10. A) eat donuts

11. D) all of the above - Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.

12. D) 'washing someone out of your life' by the end of the year -  The 'washing out' thought typically meant through death.

13. A) bring you good fortune for the new year

14. B) keep out evil spirits and bring happiness and good luck - They also have a good laugh as the year begins to get things started on a lucky note.

15. C) yellow - the color of spring 

16. A) shrines

17. B) the traditional polar bear swim - People of all ages don their swim suits and take the plunge, an event that is sure to get you started in the new year with eyes wide open.

18. C) the Mummers' Parade - This tradition relates back the Swedish who settled outside of Philadelphia. Marking the occasion were the loud noises that filled the air as they paraded down the streets.

19. D) a community celebration of the visual and performing arts - Started in Boston in 1976, an organization called First Night promotes alcohol-free festivals in 186 American cities, 16 in Canada, plus Hastings, New Zealand and Greenwich, England. Typical experiences include ice sculptures, dancing, storytelling, theater, poetry, films and, at the stroke of midnight, an elaborate fireworks display.

20. B) 1904 – Dick Clark started his reign as host in 1972

21. (C) 1907 - This original Ball, constructed of iron and wood and adorned with 100 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. In 1920, a 400 pound ball made entirely of iron replaced the original.

22. A) the "dim-out" of lights in New York City – This occurred in 1942 and 1943, during the war. The crowds who still gathered in Times Square in those years greeted the New Year with a moment of silence followed by chimes ringing out from One Times Square.

23. B) 150 pounds

24. C) for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign - In 1989, the traditional Ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to brightly light the sky above Times Square.

25. D) aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes and computer controls

26. B) 1998

27. B) Waterford Crystal - The new crystal Ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials, reminding us of our past as we gazed into the future and the beginning of a new millennium. This Ball, which remains the current version, made its first descent during the last minute of the 20th century, at the Times Square 2000 Celebration.

28. F) – (A) and (B) – a geodesic sphere, the Ball is is covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that vary in size and range in length from 4 inches to 5 inches per side.  For the 2005 New Year's Eve celebration, 72 of the crystal triangles featured the new "Hope for Wisdom " design, consisting of a symbolic pinwheel motif.  The wheel recognizes a milestone of human achievement and represents wisdom.  The remaining 432 triangles feature Waterford designs from previous years, including the Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, Hope for Abundance, and Star of Hope triangles.  These crystal triangles are bolted to 168 translucent triangular lexan panels which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball.

29. A) 168 – these light bulbs were exclusively engineered for the New Year's Eve Ball to enhance the Waterford crystal.

30. C) 432 - 208 clear, 56 red, 56 blue, 56 green, and 56 yellow.  It also has 96 high-intensity strobe lights, which together create bright bubbling bursts of color. The exterior of the Ball features 90 rotating pyramid mirrors that reflect light back into the audience at Times Square.  All 696 lights and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors are computer controlled, enabling the Ball to produce a state-of-the-art light show of eye-dazzling color patterns and a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

31. D) the building owners of One Times Square

 

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