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New Year’s Brain Teasers

By Dawn Papandrea / Posted on 31 December 2010

This guest blog post is contributed by Boomerater, the leading online resource for Baby Boomers covering tips and advice on everything from finding a lawyer to financial planning. Seniors for Living’s communities are displayed in Boomerater’s Assisted Living directory.

This week we invite you to test your New Year’s knowledge with NEW YEAR’S BRAIN TEASERS.

Take a trip down memory lane to test your knowledge of New Year’s traditions and customs.

Ring in the New Year by playing this game about New Year’s traditions, history and entertainment. Pose these questions at your New Year’s Eve celebration, or when gathering with friends and family on New Year’s Day.  Or, how about playing this New Year’s brain game with other residents at a senior living center or community center? Retirement center activity planners can help residents celebrate the New Year with this challenging quiz about New Year’s history and customs.

There are 12 brain twisters below. The answers appear at the end of the quiz along with a link for the entire quiz of 36 questions on Boomerater.com.   Good Luck and Happy New Year!

1.     What is the most common New Year’s resolution made by people in the United States?

2.     What popular New Year’s custom helps ensure a good relationship and affection throughout the New Year?

3.     Richard Wagstaff, born on November 30th, 1929 is better known by what name?

4.     In what movie did Debbie Reynolds dance with a very inebriated Fred Astaire on New Year’s Eve? (Hint: the film also starred Bing Crosby and took place at a hotel in Connecticut)

5.     What parade is held each year on New Year’s Day?

6.     In “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year,” who was the voice of Father Time? (Hint: this famous comedian was also known for his comic portrayal of a hobo)

7.     What day marks the beginning of the New Year for followers of the Jewish religion?

8.     What is the translation of the title of the traditional New Year’s song “Auld Lang Syne”?

9.     Though Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote “Auld Lang Syne,” who made it the most popular New Year’s song in the U.S.?

10.  Which city hosts the first major New Year’s Eve celebration in the world each year?

11.  What symbolic New Year’s character is often adorned with a top hat and sash?

12.  At what time does the New Year’s Eve ball begin its descent in Time’s Square?


1.     Losing weight is the #1 New Year’s resolution in the U.S. No wonder diet foods, diet products and exercise equipment are often advertised for sale in January to attract New Year’s dieters.

2.     Kissing your sweetheart at the stroke of Midnight on New Year’s Eve is thought to ensure a good relationship and affection in the coming year.

3.     Dick Clark was born Richard Wagstaff.  He began hosting the New Year’s Eve Celebration from New York City on 1972.  It eventually became “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve”

4.     Debbie Reynolds danced with Fred Astaire in “Holiday Inn”, also starring Bing Crosby.  Bing and Fred ran an inn in Connecticut that was only opened on holidays.

5.     The Tournament of Roses Parade, also known as the Rose Bowl Parade, occurs each New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California.  The parade first stepped off in 1886 (some accounts say 1990) Food Network star Paula Deen has been selected as the Grand Marshal of the 2011 parade.

6.     Red Skelton, who portrayed the popular character Freddie the Freeloader, was the famous voice of Father Time in the 1975 Rankin/Bass family film.

7.     Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the New Year for members of the Jewish religion. The Hebrew translation means “Beginning of Year”.

8.     The Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne in 1796. Translated literally it means “Old Long Since,” but is often rephrased to “Times Gone By.”

9.     Bandleader Guy Lombardo first heard “Auld Lang Syne” sung by Scottish immigrants in his hometown of London, Ontario. Guy played the song at the New Year’s Eve party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in 1929. The song was played at the stroke of midnight every New Year’s Eve at New York’s famous Waldorf Astoria from the 1930s until 1976.

10.  Sydney, Australia hosts the first New Year’s Celebration each year.  To mark the occasion 80,000 fireworks are set off from the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

11.  Baby New Year personifies the coming year, often wearing just a diaper, a top hat and a sash with the date of the New Year. He grows to be Father Time by the end of the year, handing over New Year’s duties to the next Baby New Year.

12.  The famous New Year’s Waterford crystal ball begins its descent in Times Square at exactly 11:59 PM.

We hope you enjoyed taking this quiz of 12 New Year’s trivia questions, but that’s just 1/3 of the fun. Read the entire New Year’s quiz of 36 brain teasers to find out:

  • Who invented champagne?
  • What person born on New Year’s Day captured John Dillinger and deported Charlie Chaplin for being a communist?
  • In what 1941 movie did Cary Grant propose to Irene Dunne on New Year’s Eve?
  • Who invented fireworks, used around the world to celebrate the New Year?

Plus 8 other interesting trivia facts about New Year’s history, customs and traditions.  Happy New Year!


There is One Comment about this post

  1. Debbie Myers says,

    Love your website. It has been a great help to me as an activity aide at a nursing home. Thanks


    on 09 December 2013 / 3:34 PM


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