(Answers appear when you hover over the New Year picture
at the end of each question... but NO FAIR PEEKING!
Answers are also given at the end of the questions, in the
event some hacker stole them!)
Celebrating New Year's Day is one of the oldest and most exciting customs around the world. Ringing church bells, tooting horns and ear-piercing shrieks echo throughout the world on this festive day. Whether visiting relatives or watching New Year's Day parades at home on the TV, welcoming the New Year is always a time of entertainment, celebration and resolution. Since this festival marks the beginning of the year, New Year's Day is thought of as a perfect time for a "clean start" or New Year's resolutions. People worldwide resolve to act better in the year just beginning than in the year just ended.
The US celebrates together starting New Years Eve, by throwing parties late into the night. Times Square & the dropping of the ball are a well-known American customs. At midnight couples kiss, children bang pots and pan and fireworks can be seen. Junk food and alcohol are party staples. Football is a popular way to spend time for the fan on New Years Day.
But no day has ever been observed on so many different dates or in so many different ways. All over the world, countries have their own special beliefs about what the New Year means to them. How many of these do you know?
1. The Jewish New Year is called what?
A) Yom Kippur
B) Yom HaShoah
C) Rosh HaShana
2. Who established January 1st as New Year's Day?
A) George Washington
B) Alexander the Great
C) King Tut
D) Julius Caesar
3. The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was begun in what country?
C) United States
4. Which song is sung at the stroke of midnight to bring in the New Year in almost every English-speaking country in the world?
A) Auld Lang Syne
B) For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow
C) Happy New Year
D) Shall We Dance
5. The ball was first dropped at Times Square in New York City in what year?
6. Big Bertha, the oldest cow known, died on New Years Eve 1993 at what age?
A) 27 and 4 months
B) 16 and 7 months
C) 3 months short of her 49th birthday
D) 1 month short of her 60th birthday
7. What happened in the United States on New Years Day 1928?
A) December 1, 1929 Event: BINGO invented by Edwin S Lowe
B) February 14, 1919 Event: United Parcel Service forms
C) June 14, 1901 Event: 1st golf championship is played
D) 1st US air-conditioned office building opens, San Antonio
8. According to a report in USA Today what percentage of adults in the United States break their New Years resolutions within 1 month?
B) About half
E) About three-fourths
9. In Scotland, what is set afire and rolled down the streets to celebrate New Years?
A) Barrels of tar
B) Christmas trees
D) Bowling balls
10. Speaking of burning stuff… what do they burn in South America?
A) Broken furniture
B) Old clothes
C) An ox, for their annual ox roast
D) A doll
11. Who started the New Year's resolution?
B) Julius Caesar
D) Roman Catholics
12. On January 3rd, 1888, an invention made of paraffin-covered paper was patented by Marvin Stone. Name that invention.
A) Wax Paper
C) Dixie Cups
D) Drinking Straws
E) Adhesive Tape
13. What singer was born with the name 'David Robert Jones' on January 8th, 1947?
A) Davy Jones (The Monkees)
B) Tom Jones
C) David Bowie
D) Elton John
E) David Lee Roth
14. What American institution opened its first location in the Soviet Union on January 31st, 1990?
C) Kentucky Fried Chicken
D) Taco Bell
E) The Gap
15. On January 26th, 1875, this invention which has caused fear for millions was patented. Name the invention.
A) The Atomic Bomb
C) The guillotine
D) The hypodermic needle
E) The dental drill
16. What eligible bachelor 'tied-the-knot' on Lanai Island, Hawaii, on January 1st, 1994?
A) Jerry Seinfeld
B) Tom Cruise
C) John Kennedy, Jr.
D) Jim Carrey
E) Bill Gates
17. What American patriot, silversmith, engraver, and maker of false teeth was born on January 1st, 1735?
A) Tom Paine
B) Thomas Jefferson
C) Benjamin Franklin
D) Paul Revere
E) James Madison
18. What game show made its debut on January 6th, 1975, with Chuck Woolery as its host?
A) The Dating Game
B) The Love Connection
E) Wheel of Fortune
19. What rock'n'roll Hall-of-Famer was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8th, 1935?
A) Little Richard
B) Chuck Berry
C) Jim Morrison
D) Elvis Presley
E) Janis Joplin
20. On January 14th, 1794, Dr. Jesse Bennett of Edom, Virginia, performed the first successful operation of this type in the U.S. The patient was his wife! Name the operation.
A) Rhinoplasty (a.k.a. nose job)
C) Breast enlargement
D) Caesarean section
21. Austrians avoid eating lobster on New Year’s Day because
A) Lobsters are poisonous at that time of year
B) Lobsters move backwards
C) It’s considered bad luck to eat seafood on the holiday
D) Boiling them live shows lack of compassion
22. New Year's Eve celebrations started with:
Adam and Eve
What is the connection between March 23rd and January 1st?
24. People in British Columbia celebrate the New Year by
A) Going for a quick swim
B) Holding block parties
C) Watching football on TV
D) Giving presents to their neighbors
25. On New Year's Day in Japan, everyone gets dressed in their new clothes and homes and cars are decorated with pine branches and bamboo, which are symbols of
A) Their ancestors
B) Long life
D) New beginnings
26. Some people think that good luck can be invoked by eating what food during New Year celebrations?
B) Ring—shaped foods
27. In Cambodia, people celebrate New Years for three Days, beginning April 13. Celebrations include
A) Children giving their elders money and food
B) Decorating homes with flowers, candles and incense
C) Dousing each other with water
D) Children washing their parent’s feet
E) All of the above
28. Superstition has it that "On the stroke of 12, every door in the house has to be opened…” Why?
A) To allow the Old Year to go out
B) To let in the New Year
C) To air out the house
D) To let people shout “Happy New Year” to their neighbors
29. What year did Dick Clark's "New Year's Rockin' Eve" debut in, and which of his guests from that show fit these descriptions:
A) 30 year old Australian
B) US pop group with 3 #1 hits in prior 3 years
C) 26 year old former and future gospel singer
D) Artist who recorded on 'Get Back' and 'Let it Be'.
30. What’s the connection between New Year’s Day and April Fools Day?
B) The first day of the New Year was originally April 1st
C) April Fools Day is the time to renew your New Year’s resolutions
January 1 ushers in a new year, while April 1 ushers
in a new season
And now, for all you music lovers! This puzzle gives clues to songs with the word "NEW" in the title. See how many you can get.
31. What Roger Whittaker says that "Everyone talks about"?
32. How would one inquire about a lions' current state of affairs?
33. A very inexpensive mode of transportation.
34. Roberta Flack doing Madonna.
35. A ladder climbing executive spends inordinate amounts of time in Massachusetts.
36. Where little town blues melt away.
37. The whole town saw James Lewis here.
38. Something heard at "Alice's" Restaurant.
39. What carries "three conductors, and twenty five sacks of mail"?
40. Patrick Dennis was told that this was the way to make the bubbles stay.
1. C) Rosh HaShana - In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." The Jewish celebrate the New Year "Rosh Hashanah" on the 1st of Tishri (sometime in September or October). It is the start of the Ten Days of Penitence which ends with Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur Rosh Hashanah are the High Holy Days. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. People ask for God for forgiveness for those promises they did not keep. New clothing is worn; however, leather is not allowed.
2. D) Julius Caesar - Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar, which recognized January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days. Fittingly, January was named after the Roman god, Janus. He was the god of beginning. Janus was usually pictured with two bearded heads placed back to back so that he might look to the past, as well as to the future.
3. B) Greece - The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year began in Greece in 600 BC. It was their tradition, during the Feast of Dionysus (God of Wine), to celebrate by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility, and the rebirth of earth. (Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.) The image of a baby with a New Year's banner was brought to early America by Germans, who had been using the symbol since the 14th century. Today in Greece, New Year's Day is also the Festival of Saint Basil (the founder of the Greek Church). Vassiloptita bread is served with small trinkets baked inside. Those who find the trinkets are said to have good luck. 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.
4. A) Auld Lang Syne - An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," “days gone by” or simply, "the good old days". Band leader Guy Lombardo turned this old, odd Scottish tune into a New Year's Eve tradition when he and his Royal Canadians played their first gig at the Grill Room in New York's Roosevelt Hotel in 1929. The show was broadcast over the radio, Auld Lang Syne went out to Americans coast to coast, and you know the rest of the story.
5. A) 1907 - Consolidated Edison provided the power. They are still providing the power. The exterior of the Ball will is illuminated by 168 Philips Halogen 2000 light bulbs, exclusively engineered for the New Year's Eve Ball to enhance the Waterford crystal. The interior of the Ball is illuminated by 208 clear Halogen light bulbs, 224 colored Halogen light bulbs (56 each -- red, blue, green and yellow), and 96 high intensity strobe lights which together will create bright bubbling bursts of color. The New Year's Eve Ball is the property of the building owners of One Times Square and is housed there year-round. The Ball is covered with 504 Waterford crystal triangles.
6. C) 3 months short of her 49th birthday - Big Bertha also holds the record for lifetime breeding as she produced 39 calves. Cows live to on average 6 to 7 years.
7. D) 1st US air-conditioned office building opens, San Antonio - Bingo was invented December 1, 1929 by Edwin S. Lowe. The United Parcel Service was formed February 14, 1919. The 1st golf championship was played June 14, 1901.
8. B) About half will give up in the first month., according to a poll conducted by USA Today in 2001. By the end of February, 80% of those who made resolutions will have failed.
9. A) Barrels of tar – Scotland refers to New Year's Eve as "Hogmanay". Three-cornered biscuits called hogmanays are eaten along with other foods such as wine, breads and cakes. People purify their homes with collected juniper and water. Barrels of tar are set afire and then rolled down the streets. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and the new one is allowed to enter. Seeing a cat is considered to be unlucky. "First Footing" is important. The 1st person at your door at midnight should be a dark haired person.
10. D) A doll - The burning of "Mr. Old Year" is a tradition in Colombia. The entire family helps to build and stuff him. Some put fireworks inside to make the burning more exciting. They also put things in it that they want to be rid of, objects that bring sad or bad memories. The Mr. Old Year wears something from each member of the family.
11. C) Babylonians - The Babylonians reportedly believed (according to four-thousand-year-old information) that whatever you do on New Year's day affects what you'll be doing for the rest of the year. The early Babylonian's most popular New Year's resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.
12. D) Drinking Straws - Marvin Stone patented the spiral winding process to manufacture the first paper drinking straws. Before his straws, beverage drinkers were using the natural rye grass straws. Mr. Stone decided the ideal straw was 8 1/2-inches long with a diameter just wide enough to prevent things like lemon seeds from being lodged in the tube.
13. C) David Bowie - To avoid being confused with Davey Jones of the Monkees, he renamed himself David Bowie.
14. B) McDonald’s - opened in Moscow, and is the world's biggest McDonalds, boasting 27 cash registers, 1,500 employees with beaming smiles, seating for over 700, and nearly 40,000 customers a day.
16. E) Bill Gates – Gates married Melinda French, who began her career with Microsoft in 1987, serving as both product manager and general manager with oversight responsibilities for the development of may of Microsoft's multi-media products, including Encarta, an encyclopedia product, and Cinemania, a movie guide. She also worked on several of the company's other software programs, including Microsoft Word for MS-DOS and for Windows, Microsoft Works and Microsoft Publisher. They have three children.
17. D) Paul Revere – born in Boston, Massachusetts. Becoming interested in the issue of American liberty, he received lots of attention from political cartoons he drew. Paul Revere was a member of the "Sons of Liberty." On December 16, 1773, he took part in the Boston Tea Party.
18. E) Wheel of Fortune – Created by Merv Griffin , the show was originally called "Shopper's Bazaar" and premiered on January 6, 1975 The most popular game show in history, Wheel of Fortune has been the number one game show in syndication since 1984. At the end of the 1999-2000 season, it had ranked #1 among all daily syndicated television shows (not just game shows) for nearly 900 weeks.
19. D) Elvis Presley - In November of 1948 when Elvis had just begun the eigth grade, Vernon decided to move the family to Memphis in hopes of finding a better way of life for the Presleys. They sold all the furniture that they had at the time, loaded what was left in and on top of their 1939 Plymouth and headed for Memphis. And as you all know, the rest is history.
20. D) Caesarean section - The mother survived for 25 years, and the baby for 77. The operation was done under laudanum, on two planks set across two barrels. Dr Jesse Bennett removed both ovaries remarking that he did so that he would not be subjected to such an ordeal again.
21. B) Lobsters move backwards - Pork is traditionally eaten in Austria because pigs always root forward, which represents the future. Austrians avoid lobster because it moves backwards and may cause setbacks!
22. C) Ancient Babylonians about 4000 years ago - The celebration of the New Year is the oldest of all holidays.
23. C) They both signify the celebration of the New Year - New Year's was originally celebrated sometime between March 23rd and March 25th as Annunciation Day (when Mary found out she would give birth to a child). Babylonians celebrated the beginning of the New Year on what is now March 23rd to signify the beginning of spring and the planting of new crops.
24. A) Going for a quick swim - People in British Columbia take a plunge into the icy cold waters of Vancouver.
25. B) Long life - New Year (Shogatsu) is the most important holiday in Japan. It lasts from January 1 to January 3. Most Japanese do not work during these days. In Japan, years are traditionally seen as completely separate from each other, and the new year as a fresh start. This means that in December all the duties should be completed and the new year prepared. In addition, bonenkai parties ("year forgetting parties") are held in order to forget the worries and troubles of the old year. House entrances and cars are decorated with special decorations made of pine, bamboo and plum tree, which represent youth and longevity. January 1 is a very auspicious day and traditionally believed to be representative for the whole year that has just commenced. Therefore, the day should be full of joy and free of stress and anger. In the New Year's night big bells are rung 108 times in temples and shrines throughout the country driving away the 108 evil thoughts in Buddhism.
26. B) Ring-shaped foods – the thought is that they symbolize the "circle of events" - so break out those donuts and bagels!!
27. E) All of the above - Children give money to their parents, aunts, uncles as a sign of respect. They may also give them food or fruit. People clean and decorate their houses with flowers, candles, incense, a bowl of scented water, food and drink, and banana leaves shaped into different figures. People douse each other with water as a blessing. Water can be colored red, pink, or yellow to symbolize a colorful future. Children wash the feet of their parents as sign of respect on this day as well.
29. 1972, A) Helen Reddy, B) Three Dog Night, C) Al Green, D) Billy Preston
30. B) The first day of the New Year was originally April 1st - The Gregorian Monks revised the calendar. In changing the calendar, January 1st was then decided to be honored as the first day of the new year. Breaking habits are hard to do and it was said that anyone who still honored April 1st as the first day of the year was looked upon as a fool. Thus, April Fools Day, celebrated on April 1st was born of legend.
31. New World in the Morning (by Roger Whittaker)
32. What's New Pussycat (recorded by Tom Jones)
33. I've Got a Brand New Pair of Rollerskates (by Melanie)
34. You Make Me Feel Brand New (recorded by Roberta Flack. reference to Madonna's "Like A Virgin"
35. When Whoever's in New England (recorded by Reba MacIntire)
36. New York, New York (recorded by Frank Sinatra, among others)
37. The 6 O'Clock News (by John Prine)
38. There's a New Girl in Town (theme song from the TV show ALICE)
39. The City of New Orleans (recorded by Arlo Guthrie)
40. Open A New Window (from the Broadway Musical "MAME")