A New Year's Trivia Quiz (With Answers)
My trivia quiz for today revolves around the history, traditions, and events surrounding New Year's Day and Eve. If you'd like to take the quiz, it is easy:
- Get out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
- Write down the numbers 1–20 on the paper (because there are twenty questions in all).
- Scroll down to the questions and read them, and choose one answer from the four possible answers given for each question (a, b, c, or d). Write down your answer and proceed to the next question.
- After the questions, you will find the answers, and here you can tally up your score to find out how well you've done. Good luck!
1. The first ball to be dropped in New York’s Times Square happened in what year?
2. The first time that January 1st was celebrated as the beginning of a new year was in 153 B.C. when the Romans moved the first month of their calendar back to January. For what reason did the Romans do this?
a. To coincide with elections of the two highest ranking Republic positions.
b. To honor the god, Janus, god of beginnings and transitions.
c. More sacred sheep were born in January than in February.
d. To honor Tobasco, god of hangover relief.
3. In 567 A.D., the Council of Tours prohibited the recognition of an official New Year. Why did they do this?
a. They believed the end of the world would happen soon.
b. They disliked that the date was originated with pagans.
c. To move the date to August 9 in order to replace the Frankish holiday of Stickball Day with a less athletic-themed celebration.
d. Because they were just a bunch of grumpy old geezers who hated celebrating anything.
4. What famous Frank was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on January 1, 1938?
a. Entertainer Frank Sinatra, Jr.
b. Actor Frank Langella
c. Football player and coach, Frank Beamer
d. Head of the barley cereal syndicate crime family, Frankenberry
5. In 1583, what event returned January 1st as the observation of the New Year in Europe?
a. A severe earthquake in Portugal on that date that miraculously took no human victims.
b. Papal fear surrounding a dire prediction by seer John Dee.
c. The institution of the Gregorian Calendar.
d. The 67-year-old Queen of Spain took her first bath.
6. On January 1, 1788, the Pennsylvanian Quakers did what?
a. Disavowed Quakerism.
b. Emancipated their slaves.
c. Officially denounced the Amish as heretics.
d. Opened the Quaker Oats company.
7. The lyrics of the now-traditional New Years song “Auld Lang Syne” began as a poem set to the tune of a much older Scot folk ballad. Who wrote the poem?
a. John Keats
b. Robert Burns
c. Lord Byron
d. Dr. Seuss
8. On January 1, 1877, what happened to Queen Victoria of Britain?
a. She got married.
b. She celebrated her 50th birthday.
c. She was proclaimed Empress of India.
d. She got stuck in her throne, requiring three hours of manpower and twenty pounds of butter to get her out.
9. On January 1, 1906, the government of the Netherlands made what law?
a. Mandatory licenses required for driving engine-powered vehicles.
b. A national census.
c. Recognition of Dutch as the national language.
d. Prohibition on the wearing of lampshades as hats.
10. Much to the dismay of millions, on January 1, 1945, this person announced they were not a god. Who was it?
a. Joseph Stalin
b. Emperor Hirohito
d. Clark Gable
11. On January 1, 1971, what kind of commercials were banned from American television?
a. Anti-free labor union ads.
b. Ads for cigarettes.
c. Anything relating to or suggestive of illegal drug paraphernalia.
d. Car sale ads that feature a dealer’s annoying and untalented children.
12. On New Year's Eve, 1985, this celebrity died in a controversial plane crash. Who was this celebrity?
a. Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” commercial icon, Clara Peller
b. TV newscaster David Brinkley
c. Radio disc jockey legend Wolfman Jack
d. Entertainer Rick Nelson
13. The symbol of “Baby New Year” evolved out of what?
a. From customs in the reign of Elizabeth I, who had the court midgets lead celebrations on New Year's Day.
b. Back to the ancient Greek tradition of escorting a baby throughout the villages in honor of Dionysus, god of wine.
c. From the ancient Hungarian Day of Remembrance of the Infants (honoring babies who had died the previous year).
d. Out of remembrance for the young victims of the Great Minnesota Baby Juggling Catastrophe of January 1, 1928.
14. On January 1, 1962, who failed to pass an audition for Decca Records?
b. The Beatles
c. Comedian George Carlin
d. The Jackson Two
15. The tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is believed to do what?
a. Bring prosperity for the next year.
b. Return loved ones from war.
c. Bring a year of peace into a household.
d. Relieve constipation.
16. In some parts of the world, to insure a healthy household in the coming year, it is customary for the head of the household to spank who on New Year's Day?
a. His wife.
b. His children.
c. The oldest member of the family.
d. His monkey.
17. According to data at Box Office Mojo, the highest box office sales draw on a New Year's Day is held by what film?
a. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
c. Crocodile Dundee
d. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
18. What celebrity, known for their convincing portrayals of the opposite sex, was born January 1, 1895?
a. Milton Berle
b. J. Edgar Hoover
c. George Sanders
d. Eleanor Roosevelt
19. According to southern U.S. beliefs, to make a New Year's resolution stick, one must do what while making it?
a. Be inside a church.
b. Be at death’s door.
c. Be engaged or newly widowed or divorced.
d. Be beaten with the community stupid stick.
20. In some parts of the U.S., eating pancakes with butter, syrup, and whipped cream on New Year's Day indicates what?
a. You plan to make a marriage proposal in the coming year.
b. You are turning your back on regrets of the last year.
c. You are having breakfast at Shoney’s or Denny’s.
d. A diet probably wasn’t part of your New Year's resolution.
1. a. 1908
2. a. To coincide with elections of the two highest ranking Republic positions.
3. b. They disliked that the date was originated with pagans.
4. b. Actor Frank Langella
5. c. The institution of the Gregorian Calendar.
6. b. Emancipated their slaves.
7. b. Robert Burns
8. c. She was proclaimed Empress of India.
9. a. Mandatory licenses required for driving engine-powered vehicles.
10. b. Emperor Hirohito
11. b. Ads for cigarettes.
12. d. Entertainer Rick Nelson
13. b. Back to the ancient Greek tradition of escorting a baby throughout the villages in honor of Dionysus, god of wine.
14. b. The Beatles
15. a. Bring prosperity for the next year.
16. a. His wife.
17. b. Avatar
18. b. J. Edgar Hoover
19. b. Be at death’s door.
20. c. You are having breakfast at Shoney’s or Denny’s.