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1. The Scottish tune Auld Lang Syne is a common song sang right after the stroke of midnight. What is the literal translation of the song's title: Auld Lang Syne?

a. Old Long Ago

b. Always Remembering You

c. Another Year Passes

d. Here We Go Again

1 - a. Old Long Ago - Written primarily by Robert Burns, the song was not published until 1796, well after Burns' death.

 

2. What is oldest known holiday celebrated by mankind?

a. Samhain

b. New Year's Day

c. Christmas

d. The day is not really known for sure

2 - b. New Year’s Day - New Year's day was first observed by the Babylonians about 4,000 years ago. They celebrated in March around the beginning of Spring and the festivities lasted for eleven days. Babylon was located in modern-day Iraq.

 

3. What is the most common New Year's resolutions made by Americans?

a. Resolve to find a better job

b. Resolve to stop smoking

c. Resolve to save more money

d. Resolve to lose weight

3 - d. Resolve to lose weight - Despite lofty goals, most Americans break their resolution within a few days. If you are serious about any changes in your life, you need to develop a plan of action and stick to it.

 

4. Who is mainly responsible for us celebrating New Year's day on January 1st?

a. Pope Gregory 

b. Pope Benedict

c. Julius Caesar

d. Alexander the Great

4 - c. Julius Caesar - In 153 B.C., the Roman senate voted to make January 1st the first day of the new year but over the years Roman emperors kept tampering with the Calendar. It wasn't until Julius Caesar in 46 B.C who officially established January 1st as the first day of the new year, however he had to declare one year to be 445 days in order to be in synch with the sun.

 

5. Western society's official calendar was generated from?

a. The Julian calendar

b. The Gregorian calendar

c. The Chinese calendar

d. The Solar calendar

5 - b. The Gregorian calendar - New Year's Day is the first day of the year, Jan. 1, in the Gregorian calendar. Traditionally the day has been observed as a religious feast, but in modern times the arrival of the New Year has also become an occasion for spirited celebration and the making of personal resolutions.

 

6. Regardless of when a society celebrates New Year's Day, what is one common thread between the all?

a. Good luck rituals

b. Everyone eats a hearty meal

c. Outrageous parties

d. Everyone attends a spiritual function

6 - a. Good luck rituals - Virtually every part of the world has some form of ritual to bring good luck for the new year. For example, in the United States, it's common for couples to kiss when ringing in the new year.

 

7. The month January was named after?

a. A Hindu Princess  

b. The Roman god Janus 

c. The Greek god Januarius 

d. A former Roman goddess

7 - b. The Roman god Janus - Known as the god of beginnings and the gatekeeper of doors and entrances, Janus was the Roman mythical king in early Rome. Similar to the logo used by Janus Funds, this Roman god was known for having the ability to look back and forward at the same time.

 

8. Which society calendar uses animals to mark years?

a. The Jewish calendar

b. The Chinese calendar

c. The Gregorian calendar

d. The Hindu calendar

8 - b. The Chinese calendar - Based on a twelve year cycle, the Chinese believe that people born a particular year carried traits of the animal represented. Animals included the Boar, Dog, Dragon, Hare, Horse, Monkey, Ox, Rat, Rooster, Sheep, Snake and a Tiger.

 

9. What is the most watched parade on New Year's Day?

a. Hollywood Christmas Parade

b. Macy's Holiday Parade

c. Walt Disney World's New Year's Parade

d. The Tournament of Roses Parade

9 - d. The Tournament of Roses Parade - Without a doubt, the Tournament of Roses Parade has been a New Year tradition since 1890. Although television tries to bring the realness of the parade to your TV, nothing replaces the experience of sitting on the sidewalk and being able to actually smell the floats as they go down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. The 2006 Rose Parade will be on January 2 in observance with the Tournament of Roses "Never on Sunday" tradition.

 

10. Speaking of the Tournament of Roses Parade, during between 1903 to 1915 what was the main event at the Rose Bowl Stadium?

a. Football 

b. Soccer

c. Chariot Races

d. Sprint Running

10 - c. Chariot Races - According to their web site, the Tournament of Roses Association decided to enhance the New Year's day festivities by adding a football game. It was Stanford University vs. University of Michigan, but the lopsided game ended up being 49-0. That score prompted the Tournament to give up football in favor of Roman-style chariot races. Luckily, college football returned in 1916.

 

11. In the Middle Ages most European countries used the Julian calendar, so they observed New Year's Day when?

a. Feb. 14th
b. March 25th
c. April 1st
d. May 21st

11 - b. March 25th -  In the Middle Ages most European countries used the Julian calendar and observed New Year's Day on March 25, called Annunciation Day and celebrated as the occasion on which it was revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God.

 

12. What New Year's gift did ancient Persians give?

a. Money
b. Eggs
c. Cakes
d. Rugs

12 - b. Eggs - The ancient Persians gave New Year's gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.

 

13. In ancient Egypt what event dictated the timing of New Year's celebrations?

a. Pharaoh's birthday
b. Flooding of the Nile
c. Solar eclipse
d. Exact alignment of stars
with Great Pyramid

13 - b. Flooding of the Nile - In ancient Egypt, New Year was celebrated at the time the River Nile flooded, which was near the end of September. The flooding of the Nile was very important because without it, the people would not have been able to grow crops in the dry desert. At New Year, statues of the god, Amon and his wife and son were taken up the Nile by boat. Singing, dancing, and feasting was done for a month, and then the statues were taken back to the temple.

 

14. In which country do families dress a stuffed male doll with old clothes from each member of the family and then burn it, symbolizing forgetting all the bad things of the old year?

a. Hungary

b. Angola

c. Colombia

d. Yugoslavia

14 - c. Colombia - Families stuff a life-size male doll with things that have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member; then they set 'Mr. Old Year' on fire at the stroke of midnight. Burning "Mr. Old Year" is a New Year's tradition found among Colombians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Ecuadorians.

 

15. In which country do they eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year's Eve?

a. Canada

b. Vietnam

c. Spain

d. Israel

15 - c. Spain - New Year's Eve in Spain is called "Nochevieja - The Old Night". Unlike many Spanish traditions the eating of grapes ("tomar las uvas") is of quite recent vintage. Early in the twentieth century, freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. At a loss over what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.

 

16. In which country do people eat noodles while listening to a bell start ringing and strike 108 times?

a. Germany

b. Nigeria

c. Japan

d. Mexico

16 - c. Japan - Late on the evening of December 3 1, everyone would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" ("year-crossing noodles") and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.

 

17. What flower is the symbol of January?

a. Rose

b. Chrysanthemum

c. Carnation

d. Orchid

17 - c. Carnation - There are different theories on how this flower was named. One theory was that the carnation was named for coronation, because of how the carnations were used to make ceremonial crowns, or flower garlands, in Greece. Otherwise known as "dianthus" or "pinks," these flowers with their large ruffled blooms have a spicy clove smell.

 

18. In which country do people wear white clothes in order to have good luck during the new year and also go to the beach to jump seven waves and throw flowers in the sea while making a wish?

a. Italy

b. Spain

c. Brazil

d. France

18 - c. Brazil - Most people wear white clothes on New Year's Eve to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow. If they are in a beach city, after midnight people go to the beach, jump seven waves and throw flowers in the sea while making a wish. They say that the goddess who protects the sea will make their wishes come true. Because of that, some people also light candles in the sand on the beach.

 

19. What is January's gem?

a. Topaz

b. Agate

c. Garnet

d. Onyx

19 - Garnet - Garnet received its name from the Latin word for pomegranate ("grana-tum") because its crystals reminded early scientists of pomegranate seeds. Primitive cultures believed garnets could be used to stop bleeding and cure inflammation.

 

20. In which country does "St. Basil" fill the children's shoes with presents at midnight?

a. Spain

b. Ecuador

c. Greece

d. Ireland

20 - c. Greece - New Year's Day is also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece. Children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.

 

21. Who said the "blast of January would blow you through and through"?

a. Milton

b. Tennyson

c. Chaucer

d. Shakespeare

21 - d) Shakespeare - "You'd be so lean, that blast of January Would blow you through and through. Now, my fair'st friend, I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might Become your time of day." William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act IV Scene 4.

 

22. In which country do people who want to travel take a suitcase and carry it around the house on New Year's Eve?

a. The United States

b. Venezuela

c. The Philippines

d. Egypt

22 - b. Venezuela - In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block for a few extra frequent flyer miles.

 

 

ANSWERS

 

1 - a. Old Long Ago - Written primarily by Robert Burns, the song was not published until 1796, well after Burns' death.

 

2 - b. New Year’s Day - New Year's day was first observed by the Babylonians about 4,000 years ago. They celebrated in March around the beginning of Spring and the festivities lasted for eleven days. Babylon was located in modern-day Iraq.

 

3 - d. Resolve to lose weight - Despite lofty goals, most Americans break their resolution within a few days. If you are serious about any changes in your life, you need to develop a plan of action and stick to it.

 

4 - c. Julius Caesar - In 153 B.C., the Roman senate voted to make January 1st the first day of the new year but over the years Roman emperors kept tampering with the Calendar. It wasn't until Julius Caesar in 46 B.C who officially established January 1st as the first day of the new year, however he had to declare one year to be 445 days in order to be in synch with the sun.

 

5 - b. The Gregorian calendar - New Year's Day is the first day of the year, Jan. 1, in the Gregorian calendar. Traditionally the day has been observed as a religious feast, but in modern times the arrival of the New Year has also become an occasion for spirited celebration and the making of personal resolutions.

 

6 - a. Good luck rituals - Virtually every part of the world has some form of ritual to bring good luck for the new year. For example, in the United States, it's common for couples to kiss when ringing in the new year.

 

7 - b. The Roman god Janus - Known as the god of beginnings and the gatekeeper of doors and entrances, Janus was the Roman mythical king in early Rome. Similar to the logo used by Janus Funds, this Roman god was known for having the ability to look back and forward at the same time.

 

8 - b. The Chinese calendar - Based on a twelve year cycle, the Chinese believe that people born a particular year carried traits of the animal represented. Animals included the Boar, Dog, Dragon, Hare, Horse, Monkey, Ox, Rat, Rooster, Sheep, Snake and a Tiger.

 

9 - d. The Tournament of Roses Parade - Without a doubt, the Tournament of Roses Parade has been a New Year tradition since 1890. Although television tries to bring the realness of the parade to your TV, nothing replaces the experience of sitting on the sidewalk and being able to actually smell the floats as they go down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. The 2006 Rose Parade will be on January 2 in observance with the Tournament of Roses "Never on Sunday" tradition.

 

10 - c. Chariot Races - According to their web site, the Tournament of Roses Association decided to enhance the New Year's day festivities by adding a football game. It was Stanford University vs. University of Michigan, but the lopsided game ended up being 49-0. That score prompted the Tournament to give up football in favor of Roman-style chariot races. Luckily, college football returned in 1916.

 

11 - b. March 25th -  In the Middle Ages most European countries used the Julian calendar and observed New Year's Day on March 25, called Annunciation Day and celebrated as the occasion on which it was revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God.

 

12 - b. Eggs - The ancient Persians gave New Year's gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.
 

13 - b. Flooding of Nile - In ancient Egypt, New Year was celebrated at the time the River Nile flooded, which was near the end of September. The flooding of the Nile was very important because without it, the people would not have been able to grow crops in the dry desert. At New Year, statues of the god, Amon and his wife and son were taken up the Nile by boat. Singing, dancing, and feasting was done for a month, and then the statues were taken back to the temple.

 

14 - c. Colombia - Families stuff a life-size male doll with things that have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member; then they set 'Mr. Old Year' on fire at the stroke of midnight. Burning "Mr. Old Year" is a New Year's tradition found among Colombians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Ecuadorians.

 

15 - c. Spain - New Year's Eve in Spain is called "Nochevieja - The Old Night". Unlike many Spanish traditions the eating of grapes ("tomar las uvas") is of quite recent vintage. Early in the twentieth century, freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. At a loss over what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.

 

16 - c. Japan - Late on the evening of December 3 1, everyone would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" ("year-crossing noodles") and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.

 

17 - c. Carnation - There are different theories on how this flower was named. One theory was that the carnation was named for coronation, because of how the carnations were used to make ceremonial crowns, or flower garlands, in Greece. Otherwise known as "dianthus" or "pinks," these flowers with their large ruffled blooms have a spicy clove smell.

 

18 - c. Brazil - Most people wear white clothes on New Year's Eve to bring good luck and peace for the year that will follow. If they are in a beach city, after midnight people go to the beach, jump seven waves and throw flowers in the sea while making a wish. They say that the goddess who protects the sea will make their wishes come true. Because of that, some people also light candles in the sand on the beach.

 

19 - Garnet - Garnet received its name from the Latin word for pomegranate ("grana-tum") because its crystals reminded early scientists of pomegranate seeds. Primitive cultures believed garnets could be used to stop bleeding and cure inflammation.

 

20 - c. Greece - New Year's Day is also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece. Children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.

 

21 - d) Shakespeare - "You'd be so lean, that blast of January Would blow you through and through. Now, my fair'st friend, I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might Become your time of day." William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act IV Scene 4.

 

22 - b. Venezuela - In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block for a few extra frequent flyer miles.

 

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