The country of Ghana is home to…

The country of Ghana is home to just one natural lake, which was created by a meteorite impact around 1 million years ago. The lake is considered sacred and there is a traditional taboo against touching the water with iron. Modern boats are not considered appropriate and traditional wooden boats are used instead. Despite this, the lake is a popular tourist destination and resort area.

First footing

New Year’s Eve is usually celebrated with parties, fireworks, and other festive activities. In many cultures, it is also a time for making resolutions for the coming year, and for looking back on the past year.

One somewhat unusual tradition that takes place on New Year’s Eve in some parts of the world is the practice of “first footing,” in which the first person to enter a home on New Year’s Day is believed to bring good luck to the household for the coming year. In some traditions, the “first footer” should be a tall, dark-haired man, while in others, the first footer should be a woman with a baby. In some places, it is also considered good luck to be the first to visit friends and family on New Year’s Day.

Another interesting fact about New Year’s Eve is that it is often associated with the concept of “ringing out the old, ringing in the new.” This refers to the idea of leaving behind the challenges and difficulties of the past year and starting fresh in the new year. This is often symbolized by the ringing of church bells or the lighting of fireworks at midnight, which marks the transition from one year to the next.

New Year’s Eve superstitions

Traditionally, New Year’s Eve is a time for superstitions and rituals believed to bring good luck in the coming year. Some people believe that eating certain foods, such as beans, lentils, or pork, can bring prosperity and good fortune. Others believe that performing certain actions, such as wearing red underwear or jumping over waves at the beach, can also bring good luck.

In some parts of the world, people also engage in traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations that involve strange or unusual customs. For example, in Spain, it is traditional to eat 12 grapes at midnight to bring good luck for each month of the coming year. In Denmark, people throw old plates and dishes at the doors of friends and neighbors as a way of celebrating the new year. In Japan, it is traditional to ring a bell 108 times to symbolize the release of 108 earthly desires and troubles.

Despite these strange traditions, New Year’s Eve is a time of joy and celebration for people all around the world, as they come together to ring in the new year and look forward to the possibilities and opportunities that the future holds.

Dropping a ball to mark the start of the New Year

In Times Square in New York City, the tradition of dropping a ball to mark the start of the New Year has been a longstanding tradition.

The first ball drop was held on December 31, 1907, and it has been a staple of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square ever since. The ball is made of Waterford Crystal and is lit with 32,256 LED lights. The ball weighs over 11,000 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. The ball itself has undergone several renovations and upgrades over the years, and today it is a massive, geodesic sphere that is lit up with over 32,000 LED lights and weighs nearly 12,000 pounds. As the ball descends down a pole, it is accompanied by a pyrotechnic display and a musical performance by a popular artist, making it a highly anticipated event every year.

However, the ball drop has not always gone off without a hitch. In 1942, the ball drop was cancelled due to World War II blackouts, and in 1976, the ball malfunctioned and did not drop at midnight. In addition, there have been several instances where the ball has been damaged or destroyed due to weather or other factors, including a wind gust that knocked the ball off its perch in 2012. Despite these setbacks, the ball drop remains a beloved and iconic tradition, with millions of people around the world tuning in to watch the spectacle each year.

The ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia

The ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, which took place in December, was a time of revelry and inversion of social norms. During the festival, slaves and masters would swap places, with slaves being treated to elaborate feasts and given temporary freedom to speak their minds. The festival was also marked by gambling, drinking, and gift-giving, and it was seen as a time of general merriment and enjoyment.

In many ways, the ancient Roman celebration of Saturnalia bears some resemblance to modern New Year’s Eve celebrations, which are often characterized by partying, indulgence, and a sense of letting go and starting anew. However, it’s important to note that the ancient Roman festival had a very different cultural and historical context, and it should not be romanticized or appropriated without understanding its true significance.

New Year’s resolutions

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions dates back to ancient Babylon, where it was believed that the gods would bestow good fortune upon those who demonstrated a willingness to improve themselves. The ancient Babylonians would make promises to their gods at the start of the year to pay off debts, return borrowed items, and make amends for wrongdoings.

In modern times, the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions has evolved, and it is now a common practice for people to make promises to themselves to improve their lives in some way. Some common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking, and saving money. Despite the best intentions, however, many people struggle to stick to their resolutions and often abandon them within a few weeks or months.