3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About New Year’s

Each year on December 31st, people around the world dress up in fancy new clothes, grab a bottle or two of champagne – or an Okanagan sparkling wine – and head out to parties to yell “Happy New Year!” at midnight. For those who prefer a quieter evening, television offers us a great view of the Times Square festivities and the exciting New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. But how did these traditions begin? When did everyone start celebrating the transition between 11:59pm on December 31st and 12:00am on January 1st?

Thanks for the memories 2015 - and here we come 2016!

Thanks for the memories 2015 – and here we come 2016!

When did we start celebrating New Year’s?

The early Roman calendar originally had no January, and so March 1st was designated as the beginning of the new year. Once the month was added to the calendar, in 153 B.C, the Roman senate declared the beginning of the new year to be January 1st. In 56l B.C., the tradition of New Year was abolished, as medieval Europe considered it to be unChristian-like. Luckily, it was restored in 1582 and we have been celebrating ever since.

When was the first ball drop in Times Square?

While new year celebrations in New York’s Times Square began in 1904, the first time that the New Year’s Eve Ball dropped was in 1907. With the exception of two years (1942 and 1943), the New Year’s Eve Ball has been dropped at Times Square every year since 1907, signalling the beginning of a new year. There are now about one million people that gather in Times Square on December 31st each year, to ring in the New Year. Of course, millions more around the world tune in on television to watch the spectacle.

2008 Times Square New Year's Eve Ball. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

2008 Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

How many versions of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball have there been?

The enormous descending ball that signals the beginning of the year has seen many changes over the years. In fact, seven different versions of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball have made their way down the flagpole throughout the more than 100 years that the Times Square celebration has taken place. The first New Year’s Eve Ball weighed in at 700 pounds and was 5 feet around. It was made of wood and iron and held one hundred 25-watt light bulbs. The most recent New Year’s Eve Ball weighs in at 11,875 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. It is covered with 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles bolted to 672 LED modules. The Ball has certainly come a long way!

At Watermark Beach Resort, we love to celebrate the New Year in style, with delicious food and great company. If you’re in the South Okanagan and looking for a fun way to ring in the New Year, make sure to grab a seat in The Restaurant at Watermark for a scrumptious meal prepared by Chef Adair. Seats are filling up fast, so call 250-495-5508 to reserve your table today!

Let's ring in the New Year with a few of our favourite bottles!

Let’s ring in the New Year with a few of our favourite bottles!


New Years Eve 2015 Menu

$75 with Wine – $55 without Wine

~Canapé Amuse~

Effingham Tray “Barkley Sound” Oysters, house made pork pate with Chef’s mustard

Wine Pairing: Blue Mountain Brut


Warm Duck Confit fennel & orange, Belgian endive

Wine Pairing: Ex Nihilo Pinot Noir


Winter Squash Ravioli puttanesca, guanciale – cured pork, squash chips, toasted pumpkin seeds Wine Pairing: Fairview Cellars Cabernet Franc

~Main Course~

Pan Seared Sablefish smoked sable fish, fish cake, celeriac, pickled fennel

Wine Pairing: Le Vieux Pin Sauvignon Blanc


Okanagan’s Finest Strip Loin 8oz lemon espresso rubbed strip loin, heirloom carrot puree, roasted sunchokes, chestnut and red wine reduction

Wine Pairing: La Stella “Fortissimo”


Chocolate Duo white hot chocolate, Chef Carol’s chocolate salami

Wine Pairing: Black Sage “Port Style” Wine


Crème Brûlée cranberry clove custard, sugar cookies, triple sec poached cranberries

Wine Pairing: Quails Gate “Optima” Late Harvest Wine