Category: December 31



    National Champagne Day recognizes the wine that puts the pop in every New Year’s Eve celebration. 


    Genuine champagne only comes from France’s Champagne region. French law protects where and how it is made. With some exceptions, only Champagne made according to set specifications and within the French region may label their wines using the term “Champagne.” Other foods and beverages fall under this type of protection in France and other parts of the world.

    Champagne, France, is located northeast of Paris and provides the ideal temperature and soil to produce the grapes required for Champagne. French law allows only eight varieties of grapes for the production of Champagne in the Champagne region. Primarily, the three grapes used to create Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. 

    Unlike other wines, Champagne ferments in the bottle allowing the vintner to trap the CO2 in the bottle. The bubbles give Champagne its effervescence.  

    While Champagne can be spendy, if you are looking for a little pop on New Year’s Eve, other varieties of sparkling wine are available from Italy, California, and even the South of France. They offer a sparkle that won’t put a fizzle in your pocketbook. Then again, some New Years mean an opportunity for splurging and celebrating no matter the expense. 


    Pop open a bottle of your favorite champagne. (Remember always to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.) 

    Make it extra special. Try these food pairings while you celebrate:

    • Something smoky – Try smoked salmon or a dish made with smoked gouda or another favored cheese, especially if the Champaign is acidic.
    • Satisfy your sweet tooth – If you’re leaning toward a sparkling wine like a Moscato, berries, citrus and dainty pastries bring in the New Year quite well.
    • Spice it up – Many Champagnes hold up to the heat of spicy entrees and appetizers. So celebrate all night long with these flavors.

    Use #NationalChampagneDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar is considering putting a bottle of Champagne in the refrigerator for the day when we discover the origins of this celebratory day. 

    Champagne FAQ

    Q. Who was Dom Perignon?
    A. Dom Perignon was a 17th-century Benedictine monk who while serving as cellar master of the Abbey of Hautvillers, he doubled the size of the vineyard. The vineyard also flourished under his guidance. He is credited with developing standards that improved the quality of champagne wine.

    Q. What kinds of celebrations could I celebrate with a bottle of champagne?
    A. Some of the obvious celebrations include weddings, New Year’s Eve, christening a ship, and a big promotion. Other Champagne-worthy celebrations include:

    • Retirement
    • Winning a championship
    • Buying a home
    • Opening a business
    • Reaching a big goal
    • Winning a major award
    • Earning a Ph.D.

    Q. Does champagne go bad?
    A. Yes. Champagne has a shelf-life of about 3-10 years depending on whether the champagne is vintage or non-vintage. Non-vintage champagne has a shorter shelf-life.




    From 11:30 p.m. on December 31st to 12:30 a.m. on January 1st each year, Universal Hour of Peace hopes to take a step toward a war-free world. 


    The day encourages the promotion of peaceful activities during the hour of observance. 


    Organizations around the world host events supporting an hour of peace. Some include prayer, music, poetry, or speeches. While gatherings may be large or small, the effort overall will be to spread the word of peace in every heart and mind regardless of faith.

    Several ways to participate include:

    • Host a prayer circle
    • Join a candlelight vigil
    • Meditate or attend a meditation session
    • Organize an event to discuss drawing us closer to peace
    • Share resources for promoting harmony in communities
    • Participate in discussions that bring organizations together to create solutions to issues
    • Share an experience
    • Write a poem or story 

    Use #UniversalHourOfPeace to post on social media.


    Dr. Barbara Condron at the School of Metaphysics conceived the first Universal Hour of Peace. The world celebrated the first Universal Hour of Peace on October 24, 1995. It coincided with the 50th anniversary of the United Nations and the autumnal equinox. The following year it was moved to January 1st at Noon GMT. It is now celebrated from 11:30 p.m. December 31st to 12:30 a.m. January 1st.

    December 31st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


    Earlier in 1904, The New York Times moved to 42nd Street along Longacre Square overlooking a growing triangle of commerce. In August, New York City Mayor George McClellan renamed the area Times Square. The newspaper ushered in 1905 with the first New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.


    Marie Curie receives her second Nobel Prize. Her work with radioactivity led to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


    Mayor Ed Koch appoints Benjamin Ward as New York City Police Commissioner, the first African American to hold the position.


    Complying with the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties, the U.S. government transfers control of the Panama Canal to Panama.


    Last day of century and the second millennium.

    December 31st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays 

    Elizabeth Arden – 1878

    Born Florence Nightingale Graham, the entrepreneur opened her first cosmetics salon in 1910 on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

    Anthony Hopkins – 1937

    The award-winning actor is best-known for his unforgettable role as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Other memorable performances include Remains of the Day, Legends of the Fall, and Nixon.

    Rosalind Cash – 1938

    Throughout the actress’s more than 30 year career she appeared in many popular television series including Barney Miller, Kojak, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, American Playhouse, Hill Street Blues, The Cosby Show, L.A. Law, The Golden Girls, Family Ties, China Beach, A Different World, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and General Hospital. She also starred in several movies, including The Omega Man in 1971.

    John Denver – 1943

    The folk music singer-songwriter rose to fame during the 1970s with hit songs “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” and “Rocky Mountain High.”

  • NEW YEAR’S EVE – December 31


     Every year on December 31st, people around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year. It’s a day to say “goodbye” to the old and “hello” to the new.


    Also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day, New Year’s Eve is one of the most exciting holidays of the year. Some countries, such as the Philippines and Latvia, celebrate New Year’s Eve as a public holiday. In Japan, it’s a government holiday. In other countries, many businesses let their employees off of work early so that they can partake in the many festivities.

    There are many reasons this day is one of the biggest nights of the year. Not just because it’s a time of big parties and celebrations all around the world. New Year’s Eve can be a significant turning point in your life. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and all of the lessons you have learned. It can be a time you decide to start making better choices. If you have had a rough year, New Year’s Eve offers a feeling of relief. You can be thankful that the year is finally over

    New Year’s is also a time to forgive past mistakes and form new habits. Many people make New Year’s resolutions. Although, only 8% of people actually accomplish them. Instead of making resolutions that you’re not going to keep anyway, it’s better to set three or four goals. Breaking down goals into actionable steps, and reviewing your progress daily helps to keep them. It’s also a good idea to find a friend or mentor that can hold you accountable.


    As we count down the last hours and seconds of the old year, it is an excellent time to look back at the year and reminisce with friends and family.   

    Many cities throughout the world go all-out to celebrate this exciting night. Fireworks, concerts, countdowns, and ball drops are usually among the many festivities. Some of the best cities to celebrate include New York City, Sydney, Bangkok, Dubai, Cape Town, London, and Las Vegas.

    In Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes during the countdown to midnight, symbolizing hopes for the new year. Around the world, eating anything in the form of a circle or ring symbolizes coming full circle and is considered good luck.

    As a Christian observance, it is traditional to hold an evening Mass the night before a Holy Day. New Year’s Day in the Roman Catholic Church honors the Virgin Mary. In some countries, St. Sylvester, Pope of the Catholic Church from 314 to 335, is celebrated on New Year’s Eve.

    Other ways to participate:

    • Host a party to ring in the New Year
    • Set some achievable goals
    • If you can’t be at a celebration, watch one live on television
    • Have a game night with your family and see who lasts until midnight
    • Go for a midnight run
    • Attend a concert that goes past midnight
    • Go ice-skating at a nearby park or indoor rink
    • Kiss your spouse or significant other at midnight
    • Enjoy a quiet evening at home journaling
    • Think about what you can do to make next year the best one of your life

    No matter what you decide to do to ring in the New Year, share it on social media with a picture and #NewYearsEve.


    The first New Year’s celebrations were thought to be held in ancient Mesopotamia. Because of the calendar at the time, these celebrations took place in March. Ringing in the New Year consisted of an 11-day festival. When the calendar switched from the lunar year to the solar year, the New Year began in January. This occurred in 46. B.C., when an astronomer convinced Julius Caesar to follow the solar year. It seems that since way back then, the coming New Year has been cause for celebration. Through the years, many New Year’s traditions have formed. Some of which include fireworks, parties, and singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

    New Year’s Eve FAQ

    Q. When did Time’s Square drop the first ball on New Year’s Eve?
    A. Time’s Square dropped the first New Year’s Eve ball in 1907.

    Q. Was Time’s Square the first place to drop a ball to denote time?
    A. No. Before that, many other countries dropped balls to signify the passage of time most specifically for maritime use. The time-ball was first suggested by Royal Navy captain Robert Wauchope. The idea was to have the ball placed high atop a building and near the harbor so that passing vessels could look through a spyglass and note the time. The balls were designed to drop at precisely 1 PM every day. Wauchope erected the first time-ball at Portsmouth, England. The one at Greenwich, England is the same one installed there in 1833 atop England’s Royal Observatory.

    Q. How many people fall asleep before midnight on New Year’s Eve?
    A. According to WalletHub, 12 percent of people fall asleep before the clock strikes midnight, but we suspect that number is higher. 


  • MAKE UP YOUR MIND DAY – December 31


    Each year, Make Up Your Mind Day on December 31st encourages us to quit wavering, to take a side, and follow through with a decision and stick to it.  


    As New Year’s resolutions go, this may be the day to decide which ones to declare. The day may be used to determine other decisions as well. Career changes, family decisions, and large purchases often keep us from moving forward. We waver between multiple choices or sometimes a simple yes or no. While some life-altering decisions are made on a whim, most people deliberate and weigh the pros and cons before making these types of decisions. 


    If a decision has you hesitating, make a decision. This day is the incentive to make a choice. Draw up a list of pros and cons to help you decide. Too many choices? Pare them down by ranking them. Use #MakeUpYourMindDay to post on social media.


    National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this day. As we do, we’re trying to make up our minds about whether to celebrate early in the day or wait. We’ll make our decision before midnight.

    Make Up Your Mind FAQ

    Q. How does a list of pros and cons work?
    A. A list of pros and cons helps you make a decision between two options. For example, a pros and cons list for deciding whether or not to Celebrate Every Day may look like this:

    Pros and Cons list

    Q. How do I use a flowchart to make a decision?
    A. Flowcharts work as a guide to help you make decisions. They come in handy when there are multiple options to choose from. A flowchart might look like this:

    CeleCelebrate Every Day Decision Chartbrate Every Day Decision Chart (1)




    Leap Second Time Adjustment Day is listed as an observance title only. Some years scientists do not make adjustments. But, if they do, then it’s done on either June 30 or December 31.


    The majority of the world measures time solely based on a 24 hour day in which each hour contains 60 minutes, and each minute contains 60 seconds. That measurement is much too simple for accurate time measurement.

    Since about 140 AD, scientists have attempted to break down the hours in the day into a consistent and precise means of measure. Due to the variability of the Earth’s rotation, measurement of the 24 hour day is not an exact science. There is some dispute over the validity of leap second adjustments. Some years scientists do not make adjustments. But, if they do, then it’s done on either June 30 or December 31. Between 1972 and 2020, scientists have added 27 leap seconds. Another factor impacting the atomic clock is the fact that the Earth’s rotation is slowing, which means the length of our day is getting longer. In 2020, scientists determined that no leap second was needed. 


    Whether an adjustment is made or not, here are ways to celebrate:

    • Watch an episode of Quantum Leap.
    • Play the game leapfrog.
    • Listen to “Leap of Faith” by Bruce Springsteen. 
    • Sneak up on someone and see if you can scare them into leaping into the air. 
    • Leap for joy.
    • Watch the moon landing and listen for Neil Armstrong’s famous quote.
    • Sing the 12 Days of Christmas and see if you remember which day leaps.
    • Take a leap of faith.

    Use #LeapSecondTimeAdjustmentDay to post on social media.


    Scientists first introduced the leap-second system in 1972.