Countries all around the world have their own unique New Year’s traditions. Many places feature customary cuisine, such as lentils (Brazil and Italy), suckling pig (Austria) and grapes (Spain). Others get a bit more creative. The Danish, for example, smash broken china on friends’ front doors, supposedly in a sign of affection. But you obviously don’t need to go global to learn a lot about New Year’s.
We have plenty of customs right here at home, from watching a giant crystal-covered ball drop in Time’s Square and drinking sparkling spirits at midnight to eating black-eyed peas and making resolutions on Jan. 1. But there’s still a lot to learn about even the most famous New Year’s traditions. For instance, did you know that the Time’s Square ball weighs nearly six tons, or that 360 million glasses of sparkling wine are consumed in the U.S. each New Year’s Eve? The fact that New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year for celebratory gunfire may come as a surprise, too.
With that in mind, WalletHub went hunting for interesting factoids about America’s fourth-favorite holiday, New Year’s Eve/Day, to help people better understand and enjoy the occasion. You can check out our findings on everything from eating, drinking and spending habits to travel plans, midnight prayers, DUIs and hangovers in the infographic below. Make sure to also read the Ask the Experts Q&A that follows to see what our panel thinks about different aspects of it.
Top 9 New Year’s Eve Fun Facts for 2019:
- $1.1 Billion - Estimated cost of New Year's air travel, with at least 6.7 million people expected to pay an average of $165 for a round-trip ticket.
- 8 in 10 Americans - Spend less than $200 on New Year's Eve.
- 45% of Americans plan to celebrate New Year's Eve with family, and only 15% will attend public events or parties.
- $758 - Difference in the cost for a couple to enjoy dinner and a show on New Year's Eve in the most expensive (New York) and least expensive (Philadelphia) cities.
- 360+ Million - Glasses of sparkling wine are drunk each New Year's Eve.
- 17.1% of emergency room visits on New Year's Eve are drug/alcohol related (most of any holiday).
- 49,900 – People get hurt in car crashes each New Year’s Eve Holiday.
- 0.094% – Average BAC on New Year’s Eve, making it the most drunken night of the year.
- 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, with 22% of Americans admitting that their 2019 resolutions were the same as their 2018 goals.
To gain a deeper understanding of everything that makes New Year’s so special (plus potential pitfalls to watch out for), we posed the following questions to a panel of experts specializing in retail, hospitality, public safety and terrorism. You can check out their bios and responses below.
- What tips and tricks do you have for people trying to make a New Year’s resolution they can actually keep?
- How can local authorities promote safety and reduce alcohol-related accidents on New Year’s Eve?