“New Year’s Eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.”
— Hamilton Wright Mabie

Bring on the New Year — Out with the old, in with the new.

There is something about starting over that feels so fantastic, so cleansing. I can think of a million reasons to celebrate the New Year. People love to be given an excuse to wipe their slates clean and start over. Whether it’s losing weight, going after a dream job, or just appreciating your friends and family more — coming up with new resolutions (or just finding your list from last year and writing 2011 on it) is well, tradition for us all.

For my family, New Year’s always involves spending the night celebrating with our best friends and their kids, playing board games, eating finger foods, and watching Dick Clark drop the ball at Times Square in New York City — I really can’t imagine it any other way.
Did you know that the ball at Times Square was first dropped at 12:00 am on January 1, 1908? To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City signals the start of the New Year in this country. Where are you going to be this New Years Eve? Don’t know…maybe Maryland Night Life can help you figure it out. But first, here are some interesting tidbits about New Years Eve and New Years Day. Enjoy and be safe.

Among Americans, it’s no surprise that the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. What will your New Year’s resolution be?

Here Are Some Interesting Facts about New Years

When was New Year’s Day first observed?

The Babylonians were the first to celebrate New Year’s Day 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.

Julius Caesar is responsible for us celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1st.

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) officially established January 1st as the first day of the New Year. To achieve this, Caesar actually had to declare one year to be 445 days in order to be in synch with the sun.

Western society’s official calendar was generated from the Gregorian calendar.

Janus (as in the logo for Janus Funds) is known as the god of beginnings and the gatekeeper to doors and entrances. Janus was the Roman mythical king in early Rome. Janus was known for having the ability to look back and forward at the same time.

The Tournament of Roses Parade is the most watched parade in the world.

Since 1890, the Tournament of Roses Parade has been a New Year tradition 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.
(Source: holidayquiz.com)

Trinity Church was New York’s first site for the New Year’s celebrations. Trinity Church was where New Yorkers celebrated New Year’s from the 1890’s to around 1904 when the site changed to what is now known as Times Square. A man named Alfred Ochs, a German, Jewish Immigrant was responsible for the first Times Square Party. Over 200,000 people of all ages came to his all-day party complete with fireworks and other noise makers.

In 1907, after officials banned fireworks in Time Square on New Year’s Eve, the first New Year’s ball was introduced.

It takes exactly one minute for the Ball to go from the top of the flag poll to the bottom where at the stroke of midnight, the ball lights up with an array of bright lights to signify the start of the New Year. Over 1 billion from around the world watch the ball drop in Time Square on New Year’s Eve every year.

The original New Year’s Eve, Times Square ball was made from
wood and iron and weighed 700 pounds.

New Year’s Around the World:
Scotland,
In Scotland, New Year’s is called Hogmanay. They celebrate by setting fire to barrels of tar and then rolled down the streets in villages. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and the new one is allowed to enter.

Greece
In 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.

Israel
The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. Apples and honey are eaten to celebrate the sweetness of the New Year. Jews spend time reflecting on the past year and make promises to do better in the future.

Iran’s
In Iran, New Year’s Day is in March and celebrates not only the beginning of the New Year according to the solar calendar, but also bahar, “the beginning of spring.”

Japan
On New Year’s Day in Japan, everyone gets dressed in their new clothes and homes are decorated with pine branches and bamboo — symbolizing of long life.

Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands
In European countries such as, families start the New Year by first attending church services. Afterwards, they visit friends and relatives. In Italy, boys and girls receive gifts of money on New Year’s Day.

Where does it turn 12:00 AM First on the Planet? Here’s the order of who and when countries ring in the New Year:

Kiritimati on the Christmas Islands, in Kiribati enters year 2007 first

Chatham Island outside of New Zealand has a special time zone and seems to be the second place on earth to see the clocks go to year 2007

New Zealand, Tonga and the South Pole base are among the next to go.

Parts of eastern Russia, Fiji and some Pacific islands

Norfolk Island – Australia

Parts of eastern Australia and some pacific Islands

South Australia

Queensland – Australia, a part of Russia and some islands far east in the Pacific

Northern Territory – Australia

Now Japan and Korea enters year 2007

China, parts of South-East Asia and rest of Australia

Indonesia and rest of South-East Asia

Myanmar with its half-hour time zone

Bangladesh and parts of Russia

Nepal has its special time zone here

All of India and Sri Lanka enters year 2007

Most of Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan and parts of Russia are next

Afghanistan

Armenia, Azerbaijan, parts of Russia and Arabia, some islands in the Indian Ocean.

Iran

Most of western Asia and Arabia, parts of Russia, and eastern parts of Africa
Eastern Europe and Turkey, parts of Africa – from North to South

Western Europe, parts of Africa
UTC/GMT time, London, Portugal, Iceland, western Africa

Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

Eastern parts of South-America

Rest of eastern South-America

Newfoundland in Canada

Eastern Canada, many Caribbean islands, parts of South-America
Eastern Time in Canada and USA, Western South-America

Central Time in Canada and USA, Mexico and most of Latin America

Mountain Time in Canada and USA

Pacific Time in Canada and USA
Alaska – USA

Marquesas Islands as part of the French Polynesia

Hawaii – USA, Tahiti and Cook Islands

Samoa is the last place

(Source: timeanddate.com)

Tradition
Auld Lang Syne (translation: “Old Long Ago”)
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here’s a hand, my trusty friend
And gie’s a hand o’ thine
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

How Do You Say Happy New Year Around the World?

Arabic: Kul ‘aam u antum salimoun
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo means “Good Parties and Happy New Year”
Chinese: Chu Shen Tan
Czechoslavakia: Scastny Novy Rok
Dutch: Gullukkig Niuw Jaar
Finnish: Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French: Bonne Annee
German: Prosit Neujahr
Greek: Eftecheezmaenos o Kaenooryos hronos
Hebrew: L’Shannah Tovah Tikatevu
Hindi: Niya Saa Moobaarak
Irish (Gaelic): Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian: Buon Capodanno
Khmer: Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Laotian: Sabai dee pee mai
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo
Russian: S Novim Godom
Serbo-Croatian: Scecna nova godina
Spanish: Feliz Ano Neuvo
Prospero Ano Nuevo
Turkish: Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Vietnamese: Cung-Chuc Tan-Xuan
(Austrailianmedia.com)
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.

Fun Drinks

Holiday Mimosas

Ingredients
/2 cup Grand Marnier Centenaire or Cent Cinquantenaire liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bottle chilled Brut non-vintage Champagne
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Directions

Pour 1/4 cup of the Grand Marnier into a shallow bowl, and put the sugar into a saucer. Dip the rims of 6 Champagne glasses first in the Grand Marnier, then into the sugar to form a crust.

Pour the remaining 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, the Champagne and orange juice into a large decorative pitcher and divide among the 6 prepared Champagne glasses. Serve immediately.

Fruit Punch

Ingredients
2 (6-ounce) cans frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 (6-ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (48-ounce) can pineapple juice
3 cups water
3 cups sugar
2 pints strawberries, hulled
1 (1-liter) bottle lemon-lime soda (recommended: Sprite)
Combine the orange juice, lemonade, and pineapple juice and stir well.

Bring 3 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan and boil until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Add the syrup to the fruit juices.

Place the whole strawberries into a ring mold. Pour in enough fruit juice to fill the mold. Freeze. Refrigerate the remaining juice.

(Source:recipes.com)

Chocolate Martini

Ingredients
100ml (4 floz) Grey Goose Vodka
50ml (2 floz) Chocolate Liqueur
Ice cubes
25ml (1 floz) Sugar Syrup
Four chocolate chunks. Two to garnish & two for the rim of the glass

Directions

Using two pieces of chocolate make two lollipops. Finely grate the remaining chunks.

Dip the rim of the glasses into the sugar syrup then into the grated chocolate. Pour the vodka and liqueur into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until very cold, pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lollipop.

Out in the Milky Way Martini

Ingredients
6 ounces of freezing Absolut Vanil vodka
1 Milky Way candy bar sliced into smallish pieces
1 tablespoon of sweet chocolate shavings
2 slightly chilled Martini glasses.
A well chilled, stylish martini shaker.

Directions

Put the sliced candy bar into your microwave oven and heat until it melts.

Pour the vodka into your cocktail shaker, which is half full of cracked ice.

Shake well. (vigorously)

Let your shaker rest while you prep your glasses.

Spoon 1 teaspoon of the gooey candy bar into the bottom of each glass.

Strain the vodka equally (make mine a bit heavier–of course).

Top each glass with some chocolate shavings.

Funky Monkey Chocolate Banana martini

Ingredients
2 ounces of Score Banana vodka
1 ounce of Creme de Cacao
1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon of chocolate milk
2 tablespoon of chocolate ice cream
2 freezing martini glasses
Directions

Add your Score Banana vodka and Creme de Cacao to a shaker half full of ice.

Shake well for a full minute.

Let your shaker rest while you prep your glasses.

Add 1 tablespoon of ice cream to each glass.

Drizzle the chocolate syrup over the ice cream.

Ad the chocolate milk to your shaker, and give another ten shakes.

Strain your chocolate martini into the glasses.

(Source:martiniart.com)

Bloody Mary

Ingredients
1.5 oz Grey Goose vodka
3 oz tomato juice
0.5 oz lemon juice
7 drops Worcestershire sauce
3 drops Tabasco sauce
freshly ground pepper
1 dash celery salt, freshly grated

Directions
Combine ingredients in glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Serve the Bloody Mary in a pint glass. Garnish with slice of celery, pickled asparagus.

Have a safe and happy New Year from all of us at
Maryland Night Life!

Drink Responsibly — Don’t Drink & Drive.