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PostHeaderIcon New Year’s Eve Facts and Traditions

  Written By: Melainie

New year traditions and facts

Are you getting ready to write some New Year’s resolutions and have fun ringing in the New Year? Before you do, I wanted to share some fun and interesting facts about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations. You might be surprised at what you find out.

New Year’s Eve Traditions and History

Resolutions – Ringing in the New Year is not a modern day concept, and was even documented in Babylonian times as a period of great celebration. Along with the feasts and celebrations in Babylon came the custom of making New Year’s resolutions, the most popular of which during that time was returning borrowed farm equipment.

new years facts traditionsSince then, the date of the New Year has changed quite a bit, until it became established that January 1 would be the beginning of the New Year. The name January is derived from Janus, the name of the Roman god of beginnings. He is portrayed with two faces, one looks toward the future and the other looks back on the past.

Baby New Year – This tradition was begun in ancient Greece to celebrate the rebirth of their god of fertility. They would parade a baby around in a basket during their New Year’s celebrations.

New Year’s Song – Everyone has heard “Auld Lang Syne” played or sung at New Year’s celebrations, but how did it become the official New Year’s Eve song? Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish phrase that is translated as “old long since,” meaning “times gone by” and the words are reminiscent of remembering good times and good friends. It was a popular Scottish song and was even published in a book by the poet Robert Burns. Guy Lombardo of Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadiansheard the song being sung by Scottish immigrants and played it at the New York City New Year’s Eve party in 1929, making it famously popular as the New Year’s Eve song ever since then.

Auld Lang Syne
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.

new years eve day traditions factsGood luck foods- If you want good luck in the coming year, then you should eat black-eyed peas (a tradition for good luck here in the south), ham (a symbol of prosperity), and cabbage (for prosperity and wealth) on New Year’s Day. But eating lobsters or chicken on New Year’s Day will bring a year of bad luck.

New Year’s Eve and Day Facts

312 Million- approximate population of people in the U.S. to ring in the New Year of 2012.

7% of those people will choose not to celebrate New Year’s Eve / Day.

62% will stay home to celebrate the New Year.

750 Million photos were uploaded to Facebook during the New Year’s Eve weekend in 2010.

Car Theft- More vehicles are stolen on New Year’s Day than on any other day, so keep your car locked and safe.

1907- year of the first New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square. It was 700 pounds and consisted of iron, wood and 100 lights.

new years facts traditions11,875 pounds- weight of the Waterford crystal New Year’s Eve ball that is dropped in New York City’s Times Square.

More than 30,000 lights adorning this huge crystal ball.

“Let there be love”- the crystal ball theme for ringing in the year 2012.

Born on January 1 - Paul Revere, J. Edgar Hoover, Lorenzo de Medici, Betsy Ross and Pope Alexander VI

25% of people will abandon their New Year’s resolutions after only two weeks!

50% will give up their resolutions halfway through the year.

Wearing red underwear on New Year’s day is supposed to bring you good luck.

{sources: FactMonster.com, 2020 Site, Woodridge Patch, U.S. Census Bureau, Hallmark, History.com, Wikipedia.org}

PostHeaderIcon Fun Christmas Facts and Stats

  Written By: Melainie

Now that I wrote all about the history of Christmas and origin of Christmas symbols, it’s time to find out the fun facts and stats about our modern Christmas holiday. I have found some pretty crazy and interesting information, so I know you will enjoy it.

Christmas Facts

Christmas Fun Facts

The city called North Pole is in Alaska. There are 2 cities named Santa Claus, and one named Noel.

Apollo 8 – Did you know that the crew of Apollo 8 orbited the moon on Christmas Eve of 1968? (During the orbit, the crew read the creation story from the book of Genesis, which was broadcast for all to hear and later became controversially famous.)

December 16- Busiest mailing day for packages, making the 19th the busiest delivery day for packages.

December 20- Busiest letter mailing day, so you might be better off mailing those Christmas cards early.

Christmas Facts and StartisticsWhite Elephant- The term “white elephant gift” came from the King of Siam. He would give a white elephant as a gift to any courtier that annoyed him and, because of the upkeep expenses, the gift would ruin them.

Mistletoe is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words “missel” and “tan” and is translated “dung twig.”

Gemini 6- On December 16, 1965, the astronauts of Gemini 6 sang “jingle Bells” for all the world to hear, possibly making it the first song sung in space.

World’s Largest Christmas Gift- Statue of Liberty, given to the U.S. from the French in 1886.

Crazy Christmas Statistics

5340 number of times a visa card is used every minute during the holiday season.

3- number of times the average Christmas shopper will be elbowed this Christmas shopping season.

$1.25 Billion was spent on Cyber Monday for the 2011 holiday season, which gives a 15% increase from last year.

Gift Cards are the top gift this year, just ahead of electronics.

fun Christmas Facts and stats801 Million pieces of mail will be processed on the 20th of December.

1.5 Billion cards sent for Christmas in the U.S. It is the largest card sending holiday.

2 Billion- approximate number of candy canes that will be sold this Christmas season.

30 Million- approximate number of real Christmas trees to be purchased this year for Christmas.

113%- Jewlery store sales increase for the 2010 Christmas season.

Christmas Facts$27.2 Billion- spent in department stores alone for Christmas in 2010.

10% of Christmas gifts will be broken before New Year’s Day.

 

{sources: U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Census Bureau, PR Newswire, Wikipedia}

Christmas Facts and Stats

PostHeaderIcon Celebrate Labor Day with Fun Facts and Stats

  Written By: Melainie

celebrate labor day facts and statistics

Since this coming Monday is Labor Day, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting origins, facts, and statistics about labor day. (By the way, I am taking off Monday for labor day- so no new post until Wednesday.) Without further ado, enjoy these facts I have gathered and be glad that we no longer work like it’s the 19th century.

Labor Day History

Labor Day parade

First Labor Day Parade

It’s easy to forget how much better the workplace is now than it was a century ago. Back in the 1800′s a 12 or even 16 hour work day was normal, and you would work usually 7 days a week.  Even children as young as 5 were working in factories all day. There was no such thing as OSHA, so work conditions tended to be much more hazardous. Wages were extremely low for the average worker and you didn’t get those cushy benefits either. Working in a factory posed horrendous and dangerous conditions until labor unions came along. Labor Day was established as a way to appease the rioting working class and celebrate their hard work.

September 5, 1882 (Tuesday)- first Labor Day celebration was held in New York City with a parade/demonstration

10,000- number of workers who marched in the first Labor Day parade

Founder- There is a dispute whether Peter McGuire (cofounder of the American Federation of Labor) or Matthew Maguire (factory machinist) came up with the idea for a Labor Day celebration.

Oregon- first state to declare Labor Day an official holiday (in 1887)

1894- President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a national holiday for the first Monday in September even though he openly opposed organized labor groups.

18% of American workers in 1900 were children under 16 and, despite laws being passed, this number didn’t change much until the Great Depression.

{sources: USA.gov/Labor Day and History.com}

Labor Day Facts and Stats

153.2 Million- number of Americans (over 16 years) in the labor force as of July 2011, that number is down 1.2 million from Labor Day 2010.

12% of American workers belonged to a labor union in 2009.

84.7% of full time workers have health insurance.

2.2 Million more females than males are in management positions as of 2009.

Registered Nurse- occupation expected to add the most positions in the next 10 years.

25 minutes- average time for the commute to work.

5.9 Million people worked from home in 2009.

White after Labor Day

1900's White Summer Dress

 

Why not wear white after Labor Day? According to historians, it may be symbolic for those wealthy enough to leave the city for a summer vacation in which the “uniform” of choice was breezy and white- no white after Labor Day because they have to go back to their drab work/city clothes.

 

 

May 1st- when most countries celebrate Labor Day, also called May Day or International Workers’ Day. Demonstrations, speeches, and protests are more common for this Labor Day celebration which commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago.

The Longest Labor Strike- In 1991 workers at the Stockton Diamond Walnut Plant in California went on a strike that lasted until 2005- that is 14 years!

{source: U.S. Census Bureau}

Celebrate Labor Day

…And you men and women of Labor celebrating today the rights given you by the Constitution; rights for which you have fought down through the years; rights which have made Labor today a strong and respected force in our national life… -San Francisco Mayor Angelo J. Rossi (Labor Day 1939)

Football- Labor Day marks the beginning of football season, so get pumped up for your favorite team!

3 Most Famous Labor Day Celebrations in America- West-Indian American Day Parade and Carnival, Chicago Jazz Festival, and Los Angeles County Fair.
labor day cartoon

How do you plan on spending Labor Day?

PostHeaderIcon Celebrating Mother’s Day

  Written By: Melainie

first mother's dayThis Sunday will be my first Mother’s Day and I am very excited about having a day to celebrate all that I have accomplished this past year. I have been bugging my husband for the past few weeks about celebrating Mother’s Day and maybe giving me a day off from housework on Sunday. Thinking about my first real Mother’s Day, I have been remembering all of the accomplishments I have attained as a mother so far, and I am actually very proud of myself.

My Motherly Accomplishments:

• Childbirth without any pain medication

• Successfully breastfeeding my baby through eight months so far

• Making homemade baby food

• Waking up every two hours at night every night for a month

• Not going crazy due to sleep deprivation

• Keeping my baby healthy so far

• Changing a dirty diaper in less than 30 seconds

• Being prepared for a massive diaper blowout in Wal-Mart

• Understanding the different meanings for my baby’s various noises

• Learning to fall into a deep sleep quickly yet wake up at the slightest squeak from my baby

• Not Going Crazy (I repeat it so that I might believe it is true.)

Making this list has really brightened my day and brought up some wonderful newborn memories. Why don’t you try making a brag list for yourself? Remember all that you have accomplished that is deserving of this Mother’s Day celebration and it might boost your mood also.

Did You Know

First U.S. celebrated Mother’s Day was May 10, 1908.

In 1914 Mother’s Day was officially declared a holiday to be celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Anna Jarvis founded Mother’s Day as a holiday in the United States to honor her mother and encourage others to honor their mothers.

She despised the over commercialization of Mother’s Day and wished she had never started the holiday at all.

A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment. -Anna Jarvis

140 Million- number of Mother’s Day cards bought each year in the United States, although as of 2008 there were only 85.4 million mothers in the country.

There are over 2 Billion mothers world-wide.

official mother's day flowerCarnations are the common Mother’s Day flower because the founder of this holiday gave out 500 of them for the first Mother’s Day celebration (It was her mother’s favorite flower).

Florists promoted the idea of red carnations for a mother still living and white for those whose mother had passed away.

Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year for restaurant dining here in the U.S.

5 Million- number of stay-at-home mothers in the U.S. in the year 2010.

9,900,000- number of single mothers caring for a child under 18 in the U.S. as of 2010.

69- world record for the highest number of children one woman has given birth to (Held by the wife of Feodor Vassilyev of Russia in the 18th century.)

25- average age to become a first time mother in the U.S. as of 2008 (I was 24 when I first became a mom).

A mother will have spent an average time of 3 (40-hour) work weeks after a year of changing her baby’s diaper.

Mother’s Day is the second highest gift giving holiday of the year here in the U.S.

A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s. -Diana, Princess of Wales

To learn more about history and traditions of Mother’s Day around the world I suggest reading the Wikipedia entry for Mother’s Day- it has a very detailed list.

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