-- When the ball drops in New York City's Times Square on New Year's Eve, it will mark the beginning of 2016.
Although celebrations began in Times Square back in 1904, the ball -- now known as the Waterford Times Square Ball -- has dropped from the flagpole fixed atop the One Times Square building since 1907. The ceremonial drop has captivated millions of people around the world.
ABC News got a behind-the-scenes look at the ball Sunday, days before it makes its descent at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
Seventy-three steps up from the building's 21st floor is the rooftop where the ball rests on top of the roof's metal grate floor. Dozens of heavy black wires taped together flowed from the ball to unknown power sources. Although it may seem like a forgettable detail, those wires are instrumental to illuminating the ball's 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles of various sizes. The triangles, attached to the ball's aluminum frame, are lit by over 30,000 LED lights.
Each year the ball, which weighs nearly 12,000 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter, has a theme.
"This year's theme is The Gift of Wonder," Waterford Master Artisan and spokesman Tom Brennan told ABC News. "So this year's theme is all about the greatest gifts within us all; human kind's desire to explore what's out there. It's about reaching for the stars and never giving up."
Brennan said that over 100 people are part of the process to create the ball, from engineers to artisans to electricians. He added that they have a few rituals to ensure the ball drops without any hesitation.
"We cross our fingers and then we hold hands and then we say a prayer to the gods," he detailed, "and, thankfully, it has worked in the past."
On the 20th floor of the One Times Square building, engineers are laying out the wires for the fireworks that will accompany the ball's drop. The actual fireworks won't actually be laid out until Thursday.
Still, despite the pomp surrounding the ball, all eyes will be on the glittery geodesic dome on New Year’s Eve.
"A billion people on the planet watch as that ball drops," Brennan told ABC News. "It's a million people in Times Square and they're celebrating. They're holding their loved ones tight."