35+ New Year's Trivia Questions to Keep You Awake 'til Midnight

Break out your party hats and buzzers because it's time to celebrate with a little bit of New Year's trivia!

Updated December 12, 2023
Group of friends celebrating New Year's Eve

New year, new you! Now's a better time than any to best your loved ones at a game of trivia. Freshen up on your New Year's Eve and New Year's Day knowledge so you can stomp the competition. And if you need a helping hand to get to the finish line, we've got all of the answers to our New Years trivia questions at the ready. 

Ring in a Fresh Start With Some New Year's Trivia 

Dancing, drinking, and indulging in delicious snacks are how most people spend their New Year's. Switch things up this time around with a harmless game of trivia. From historical facts to cool New Year's superstitions, these are the New Year's trivia questions that are sure to stump your smartest friends. 

New Year's True or False Questions to Get Things Started 

Start things off easy with some true or false questions. Everyone has a 50/50 shot of getting it right, and you can use those odds to lull them into the game. Either that or break out the booze and make a drinking game of it.  

Approximately 1 million people in the world watch the Times Square ball drop.

False. Closer to 1 billion people around the world tune into the Times Square ball drop.

In Japanese culture, eating long noodles on New Year’s is believed to guarantee you a long life.


A common tradition in Spain is to ring in the New Year by eating 12 olives.

False. They eat 12 grapes, not olives, in conjunction with the 12 bongs of the clock on midnight.

The most common New Year’s resolution in the United States centers around leading a healthier lifestyle.


Ball drops were around long before the annual Times Square ball drop.

True. A large ball atop England’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich once dropped at 1 pm every day to help maritime navigation.

The original Times Square New Year’s Eve ball weighed one ton.

False. It weighed substantially less at around 700 pounds.

Babylonians may have sparked the New Year’s resolution trend by promising to pay off their debts in the new year.


New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day fall on the same day of the week every year.

False. They usually land on a different day of the week from the year before.

Blast Through the Past With These New Year's Questions 

People have been celebrating New Year's in one form or another for centuries. That's thousands of years' worth of remarkable events and hilarious faux pas ripe for the trivia picking. See just how much of a history buff you really are with these questions about New Year's past. 

Family having New year's party in a backyard

What year was the first documented New Year’s Day celebration?

2,000 BCE in Mesopotamia

Which famous ancient leader established January 1st as the first day of the year?

Julius Caesar

In the ancient past, loud noises at New Year’s celebrations were said to ward off what?

Demons and evil spirits

Instead of a ball drop in 1942-43, the Times Square Celebration featured what act?

A moment of silence for the ongoing war

World War I had what impact on the 1917 Times Square ball drop?

The celebration had to go dark because of coal rationing.

Which calendar marks January 1st as New Year’s Day?

The Gregorian Calendar

What computational event were people worried would have cataclysmic problems on New Year’s Day of 2000?

Y2K or the Year 2000 Problem

A 1907 ban on what spurned the first New Year’s Eve ball?


What unusual mistake was captured during the ball drop in 1996?

The now computerized ball drop system glitched, causing the ball to stop dropping.

See How Savvy You Are With These New Year's Tradition Trivia Questions

Santa already took his flight around the world, and now it's your turn. Live that jetsetter life from the safety of your four walls with these trivia questions about international New Year's traditions. 

Eggs, whether given as gifts or eaten on New Year’s, are a symbol of what?


Which legume does the American South love to consume on New Year’s to bring them good fortune?

Black-eyed peas

In which country do people feast on ring-shaped donut-like treats on New Year’s Eve?

The Netherlands

Not kissing the person next to you at midnight on New Year’s Day is said to ensure you have a year full of what?


In Russia, one way to ring in the new year is by downing a glass of Champagne filled with what?

The ashes of a piece of paper with your wishes written on it.

If you want to see the world in the coming year, what should you carry around the block with you?

An empty suitcase

Show Off Your Excellent Taste With These New Year's Culture Questions 

Unlike Christmas, New Year's hasn't made the same cultural splash. Or maybe you just haven't heard about these NYE-dedicated pieces yet. Either way, break out the buzzers because it's time to test your knowledge on all things New Year's culture. 

New Year's Eve holiday party, pocket watch,

What does "Auld Lange Syne" mean in English?

For Old Time’s Sake

What famed poet is credited with transcribing and rewriting the song "Auld Lange Syne"?

Scottish poet Robert Burns

Which famous book — often credited with being the first published sci-fi novel in history — was released on New Year’s Day, 1818?

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Which famous jazz singer had a massive Christmas hit in the 1940s and then a New Year’s single in the 1960s?

Nat “King” Cole

The Times Square ball debuts what new feature every year?

A new crystal design

How did Hollywood ring in the New Year during its Golden Age?

With annual New Year’s portraits of their beloved film stars.

Today, it’s common to watch the ball drop coverage on TV. What TV special sparked this longtime tradition?

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special on ABC

Are You Smarter Than Baby New Year?

Easter has the Easter Bunny, Christmas has Santa Claus, and New Year's has Baby New Year. Think you're smarter than the baby that's fresh on the block? Take a gander at these questions and find out. 

Which ancient civilization is believed to have introduced the baby as a symbol for the New Year?

Ancient Greece

Which folklore character is said to bequeath Baby New Year with his position on New Year’s Day?

Father Time

Which famous illustrator created the Saturday Evening Post’s first Baby New Year cover?

J.C. Leyendecker

Which Claymation sequel brought back Rudolph and a cast of new characters on an adventure to find Happy, the new Baby New Year?

Rudolph’s Shiny New Year

What year did the Saturday Evening Post stop printing their Baby New Year covers? 


New Year's Trivia Game Ideas to Bring Your NYE Party to Life 

New Year's is an event, and your trivia game should be, too. Forgo your standard post-dinner trivia session in favor of some of these more exciting alternatives: 

  • Break the ice with multiple-choice questions. You can easily transform any of our trivia questions into multiple-choice ones and use them as conversation starters when guests walk in the door.
  • Mark the hour with a new trivia question. Count down the hours on New Year's Eve with a fun family activity that includes each family member reading off a trivia question every hour.
  • Incorporate the trivia into your proposal. Create a memorable New Year's Eve proposal by asking the trivia questions to your future fiance, then slipping in, "Will you marry me?" at the end.
  • Pull a Riddler and add trivia to your decorations. Make your own drink coasters and add a trivia question to each one so guests have a fun place to set their New Year's Eve cocktails.

Start the Year Off as a Winner 

Whether you're participating in as many New Year's superstitions as you can or you're breaking out your lucky colors to make sure this one's a good one, it can't hurt to add that winning feeling to the mix. So, when the party is starting to lull and people's post-cocktail sleepiness kicks in, stir up some excitement with these New Year's trivia questions. 

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35+ New Year's Trivia Questions to Keep You Awake 'til Midnight