In just a matter of days, families all over the globe will be counting down as we get ready to enter 2024. And as we get ready for our New Year’s Eve celebrations, many of us will embark on the typical course of yearly traditions. But have you ever paused and wondered why we do what we do to ring in the New Year? Today, let’s take a look back as we discover the origins of some of the many beloved NYE celebrations we enjoy each year.

  • Fireworks: When the clock strikes midnight, you can expect to hear fireworks blasting off in neighborhoods all over the nation. But why have fireworks become synonymous with the start of a new year? As it turns out, this tradition did not begin in the United States, but rather, in China, where fireworks were invented. In the Chinese tradition, fireworks were originally intended to scare off misfortune or other evil spirits. Now, fireworks are cherished in cultures throughout the world and recognized as a symbol of celebration and pride.
  • Auld Lang Syne: Each and every year, when the ball drops and the New Year is officially upon us, chances are the moment was soundtracked by Auld Lang Syne. Auld Lang Syne, which translates to “for old time’s sake”, originated in 18th century Scotland. The piece, penned by Scottish poet Robert Burns, tells a tale of old friendships and the years gone by. As the warmth of this beloved tune fills the air, you can take heart knowing that millions across the globe are humming right alongside you.
  • Dropping the Times Square Ball: When New Year’s Eve rolls around, thousands of families tune in to Times Square to see the dropping of the ball on New Year’s Eve. The anticipation of the ball inching downward as the evening draws nearer to midnight is a sight that is cherished all over the globe. The first Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration was held in 1904, but it was not until 1907 that the first ball was dropped. The first-ever New Year’s Eve ball was a 700-lb., iron and wood contraption created by a talented young metalworker named Jacob Starr. Since then, the ball has been transformed, now donning hundreds of Waterford Crystals as its facade of choice. Although Times Square certainly looks different now than it did over 100 years ago, it is heartwarming to think that these same beloved rituals continue to carry on both now and for generations to come.
  • New Year’s Resolutions: After the fun of New Year’s Eve has concluded, many of us will be buckling down and setting forth on our resolutions for 2024. For centuries, folks have been using the dawn of a new year as a catalyst for self improvement. Over 4,000 years ago, the Ancient Babylonians started this trend which would wind up transcending the generations. The belief was that if a person were to fulfill their promises from the previous year, favor would be shown to them in the year to come. Ancient knowledge proves: there’s nothing like a fresh start to motivate positive change, and will no doubt be the driver of dozens of new habits in the coming new year.

No matter how you choose to ring in the coming year, as long as you’re surrounded by friends and family when the clock strikes twelve, that’s all that’s needed for the perfect celebration. Whether you’re participating in these traditions of old or forging new traditions with those you hold dear, we hope 2024 brings you your very best year yet. Happy New Year, Trenton!

New Year's Eve - Euro Dance Center

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