What the world drops on New Year’s Eve
Bermuda’s traditional new year onion drop in St George has been featured on a US website.
The island’s onion was showcased alongside traditions in towns and cities in the US on popular website howstuffworks.com
The article said: “Revellers who spend New Year’s Eve in remote Bermuda don’t just get to celebrate a few hours before most of the rest of the Western Hemisphere.
“They get to watch a gigantic onion drop at the stroke of midnight. Musicians, artists, food vendors and other performers liven up King’s Square. St George, founded in 1612, was Bermuda’s first English settlement, and the Atlantic island became a major producer and exporter of onions.”
Several other new year drops were also highlighted.
Lebanon, Pennsylvania, has rung in the new year with the Bologna Drop for 20 years ,in celebration of the smoked Italian-style sausage first produced in the area.
The tradition started with a single 200lb bologna but organisers now use multiple 10lb bologna blocks to make the meat easier to donate to charity after the festivities.
A 400lb fibreglass peep in honour of the bird-shaped marshmallow treats associated with Easter is dropped in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The makers of the sweet, Just Born, are based in the city.
Brasstown, North Carolina and Tallapoosa, Georgia, both mark midnight with the Opossum Drop, although the tradition is more of a “possum lowering” than a fall.
Tallapoosa uses a stuffed possum named Spencer in its festivities but Brasstown uses a live possum, which is released unharmed at the end of the celebration.
New year drops have their roots when 19th century navigators used “time balls” to calibrate their chronometers.
The Times Square Big Apple drop started in 1907, but other cities and towns have since developed their own.
These include an Indy car in Indiana, a red crab in Maryland, a Moon Pie in Alabama and a Conch Shell in Florida.
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