15 facts about New Year’s celebrations that might surprise you

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Happy New Year! Brad Barket/Getty Images

There’s no doubt about it — 2020 was potentially the longest year in history and no one will be sad to see it go.

WalletHub previously gathered trivia about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, from the most popular New Year’s resolutions to the amount of trash usually picked up in Times Square. While the ball drop in Times Square is going virtual this year, other traditions will likely still stand, such as staying up late and popping open some sparkling wine.

Keep scrolling to learn more about New Year’s, just in time to watch the ball drop from the comfort of your living room.


New Year’s Eve ranks fourth on Americans’ list of favourite holidays, with 41% of the population calling it their favourite.

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A particularly festive celebration. Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Samsung

Predictably, 78% of Americans love Christmas. Thanksgiving and July 4th came in second and third, respectively.


But that doesn’t mean everyone actually stays up until midnight. At least 48% of parents plan to “count down” at 9 p.m. with their kids.

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The Mawby triplets, Claudette, Angela, and Claudine are fast asleep before the clock strikes midnight to signal the New Year. Fox Photos/Getty Images

WalletHub reported that 12% of Americans fall asleep before midnight, anyway.


And 3% of Americans don’t plan on celebrating at all.

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Getting beauty rest. Yale Joel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

It makes sense – for some, New Year’s Eve is an extremely overrated holiday.


Usually, the most popular destination in the US for New Year’s is Orlando, but this year, WalletHub called Virginia Beach, Virginia, the best city for celebrations.

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Whitney Watts and Ray Watts dance the night away during the New Year’s Eve Party at Disney Springs in Florida. Phelan Ebenhack/AP Images for Patina Restaurant Group

Usually Disney World is one of the most popular locations for celebrations, but this year, the firework display is going virtual.

Instead, WalletHub identified the best cities to celebrate the start of 2021, taking into consideration factors like the number of COVID-19 cases, safety, and the cost of food delivery. Virginia Beach, Virginia; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Plano, Texas came out on top.


Normally, a million people flock to Times Square to see the ball drop.

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Revelers celebrate after the ball drop during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square on January 1, 2016. KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

That’s the average attendance for New Year’s Eve in Times Square, according to WalletHub. This year, though, Times Square will be closed to all crowds.


The ball weighs 11,875 pounds, and is covered in 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles.

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The ball that dropped on December 31, 2018. Jeff Neira/Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

The building that houses the ball is almost entirely empty – and Insider took a look around.


The ball has been dropped annually since 1907, with two notable exceptions — due to World War II light restrictions, Times Square remained dark in 1942 and 1943.

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Pearl Harbour was on December 7, 1941. Myron Davis/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Not even COVID-19 can stop the ball from dropping.


Usually, more than 56 tons of trash are left in Times Square after the celebrations, including 1.5 tons of confetti.

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A broom sweeps some of the trash left by the revelers at the New Years celebration on January 1, 2005. Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

It takes 300 sanitation workers between 12 and 16 hours to clean it all up.


More than 360 million glasses of sparkling wine are consumed on December 31.

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Sparkling wine abounds. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

All that alcohol also makes NYE the drunkest night of the year – the average blood-alcohol concentration is .094%, more than the legal limit.


That sparkling wine might be why 28% of Americans need to get hangover food delivered from restaurants on January 1.

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All that’s left of 1947 is a headache and a job for the cleaners. Bettmann/Getty Images

According to Google, Louisville, Kentucky, was the most hungover city in America on January 1, 2019.


If you want good luck, you should eat 365 black-eyed peas.

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Black-eyed peas. Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

In Spain, however, people eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight.


The beginning of a new year is also about resolutions. The most popular New Year’s resolution is to exercise more.

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It’s popular. Christ Hondros/Getty

Fifty-nine per cent of Americans want to add some physical activity to their routine. Eating healthier (54%), saving money (51%), losing weight (48%), and reducing stress (38%) round out the list.


Eighty per cent of resolutions fail by February.

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Keeping resolutions is difficult. BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images

Here are some tips to help keep your resolutions.


Crime also sees a bump on December 31 and January 1. The most popular day for car theft is January 1, with 2,571 cars getting jacked on the first day of 2018.

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The shattered window of a car. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

New Year’s Eve ranked sixth, with 2,122 cars stolen.


But January 1 is also the biggest night for illegal “celebratory gunfire.”

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Fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Celebrate the start of a new year – but make sure you stay safe, too.