We all pretty much love New Year’s, and if you don’t, what’s not to love? You get a fresh, clean slate for the new year. While we’re on the topic of New Year’s; you ever think just how some of our New Year’s staples came to be? You’d actually be surprised to find out that some of our most cherished traditions have strong ties to businesses trying to market their…business. Take a look at how some of the most famous New Year’s traditions became so famous.
The Ball Drop
Ah, the Ball Drop, the most overrated thing in NYC. Oh, if standing in the cold on 42nd street is your thing, be our guest. But, we’d rather you be our guest at one of our fantabulous New Year’s party cruises. The Ball does hold a rich history however, and New Year’s Eve just wouldn’t be the same without it.
The history of the light ball itself is a tad convoluted, and rooted in 19th-century sailing technology. In England, mariners would use large balls of light off the coast of seaports and chronometers to help them keep track of time and distance. A bright sphere would be hoisted up at exactly noon, then slowly descend until it reached the bottom. Sound familiar?
The designs of these orbs were apparently aesthetically pleasing enough to warrant crowds gathering at noon to watch them get hoisted. These “time balls” made their way to the USA not to long after. And were erected on state houses and naval bases across the country during the mid-1800’s to early 1900’s. Eventually losing their practical use due to the ever-advancing methods of timekeeping.
Funny enough, the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop came about not because of any fascination with these bright spheres. Rather, it was due to the infamous fireworks ban that caused The New York Times to think of a new way to ring in the new year for their annual celebrations.
And what did they think of? Well, the owner of the paper at the time was influenced by a common telegraph time ball, and the rest is history.
The illustrious midnight kiss has a hodgepodge of possible origins. Historians, and people who like to call themselves historians have traced the New Year’s tradition as far back as ancient Rome. The Romans were notorious for there apparently wild and rambunctious celebrations. Saturnalia, their 3-day-long New Year’s parties; were wild nights filled with gift giving, gambling, and kisses galore cause, well, you know those craaazy ancient Romans.
The midnight kiss in particular must of had a nice ring to it. Since it was passed throughout Europe, where its meaning continually changed depending on the region. The masquerade New Year’s parties that took place during renaissance brought a more superstitious context to the tradition. At midnight, the attendees would remove their mask, and kiss as a sign of purifying their souls and releasing bad juju.
Somewhere along the lines, it became a signal for good fortune and prosperity to snag yourself a kiss when the clock strikes midnight. Conversely, not starting the year off with a kiss was seen as an indication of a horrible year ahead filled with loneliness, and misfortune. Which is kind of harsh when you think about it. All we can say for sure is, starting off your year at one of our yacht parties will definitely put you in good spirits, and have you beginning the year feeling great. Whether you’re kiss-less or not.
Champagne is widely regarded as one of the classiest drinks you could have. This, probably-most-definitely has to do with the beverage being a regular fixture in European royal gatherings. Then, the drink became more prominent among commoners, as the price of champagne dropped in the early 1800’s. Regardless, it was still more expensive than most wines; and was seen as a celebratory beverage only to be served during special occasions.
But, champagne wasn’t a New Year’s must-have until much later. How much later? Well, the drink became very popular in certain parts of the USA in the mid-1800’s. And that’s thanks to a little New York restaurant named Cafe Martin. It was here where brothers Jean and Louis Martin cultivated the tradition by hosting lavish New Year’s Eve parties every year. With the toast of one of their imported bottles of champagne at midnight being a draw for the upper-class crowds the event drew. The event became so popular that it’s midnight toast not only became a regular yearly ritual for New Yorkers; it spread across the entire country, and wa-la, you have your midnight toast New Year’s traditions.
Make Some New New Year’s Traditions
We’ve given you the rundown on some of the most famous New Year’s traditions out there. Speaking of all these traditions, we should make some traditions of our own. How about you meet us on a superb yacht party this December 31st. End your year right, and start your year on the right foot aboard one of our fantastic cruises.