New Year's Eve
The origin of New Year's celebrations in the United States date back to the early 20th century, with the first ball drop occurring New York City's Times Square in 1904. The event was further popularized by host and TV personality Dick Clark, who took the helm of New York's festivities in "Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve" in the early 1970s up until 2005 when Regis Philbin took over, and then by Ryan Seacrest in 2012 following Clark's passing. New Year's Eve and Day are not federal holidays in the United States, but most organization close or reduce their hours to allow their workers to spend it with their families. Other institutions that would benefit from the festivites-such as clubs and bars-hold special parties and all-night celebrations. Kentucky, Michigan, Louisiana, and Wisconsin observe New Year's as state holidays, which constitute excused absences from work or school. The enduring symbol of the holiday is Baby New Year, which is an infrant wrapped in a sash that is adorned with the number of the current year, and according to leged, ages throughout the year to an old man and is born again the following December 31st at 12:59:59 am.
- The New Year's Kiss is supposed to bring both parties romance in the coming year. Not recieving a kiss will supposedly result in a year of loneliness.
- Black-eyed peas are served to bring good fortune. This stems from a southern dish called "Hoppin' John"(the peas, along with onion, bacon, and rice are the main ingredients), wherein the black-eyed pease symbolize coins, and the stew itself symbolizes prosperity.
- The fireworks are said to ward off evil spirits and misfortune, which is also the assumed origin of the kiss. This was adapted from the Chinese, who celebrate New Year's on January 31st instead of the last day of the year, and are the inventors of fireworks.
- The poem/song "Auld Lang Syne" by Scottish poet Robert Burns is a New Year's staple, with it's famous first stanza "Should old acquaintance be forgotten" known by many who are unfamilar with the song.