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Why do they drop a ball in Times Square on New Year’s Eve?

Der Silvesterabend in New York ist ein ganz besonderes Erlebnis – und dazu gehört seit Jahrzehnten auch eine ganz besondere Tradition: der ball drop. Mehr über die Geschichte der Neujahrsfeierlichkeiten am Times Square erfahren Sie in diesem Auszug aus der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On. Happy New Year!


By Siobhan Bruns

1                 In the final hours of December 31, the streets around Times Square are packed. Tens of thousands come to this spot in Midtown Manhattan to ring in the new year.

2                 Then, in the last minute of the old year, the crowd looks up to the roof of the One Times Square building. A clock counts down the last minute backwards. With the final second, a crystal ball drops down a long pole. “Happy New Year!” everyone shouts.

3                 But why do people come to Times Square to watch a ball drop?

4                 Even before there was a ball to drop, people were coming to Midtown Manhattan to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Already at the beginning of the 1900s, they would gather in the city streets to ring in the new year with others.

5                 Then in 1904, the New York Times newspaper finished building their new headquarters at the intersection of Seventh Avenue, 42nd Street, Broadway, and 43rd Street, aka “Times Square”. The newspaper moved their headquarters eight years later, but the name “Times” – for the building and the square – stayed.

                At midnight in 1904, fireworks were set off all over the new Times building. The next day, a report in the New York Times said that “from base to dome the giant structure was alight … never was a New Year’s Eve more joyously celebrated.” They wrote that Times Square was packed by 9 PM, and by midnight “the crush was so great that progress was well-nigh impossible in any direction.”

Den kompletten Artikel finden Sie in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On.


0–3             to drop herablassen; fallen — New Year’s Eve Silvester — packed voll — spot Ort — in Midtown … im Zentrum von … — to ring in einläuten — backwards rückwärts — pole Stange

4–5             to celebrate feiern — to gather sich versammeln — headquarters Hauptsitz — intersection Kreuzung — to move verlegen

6                 to set off anzünden — base Fundament — dome Kuppel — giant riesig — structure Gebäude — alight erleuchtet — joyously freudig — crush Gedränge — progress h.: Vorankommen — well-nigh beinahe — direction Richtung   

Foto: Getty Images