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Why is it a tradition to kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve?



There’s always the promise of good things to come on New Year’s Eve—parties, Champagne, a fresh start. But whom are you going to kiss at midnight? It’s a tradition that makes kids squirm, induces stress in singletons, and is happily anticipated (one hopes!) for those who are romantically attached. This custom dates back to eighth century BC and has clearly stood the test of time.

Back in the day, Ancient Romans would throw a huge party called the Festival of Saturnalia, which involved lavish banquets, kissing, and lots of debauchery. Thanks to the English and the Germans, that festival evolved to something more restrained, and a tradition of celebrating the arrival of the New Year by kissing the first person one encountered was established.

Folklore suggests whomever you kissed at the stroke of midnight could bring you good or bad fortune during the coming the year (talk about pressure). The custom eventually evolved into kissing someone you knew (phew!) and who might influence your romantic prospects over the ensuing twelve months.

The midnight smooch tradition continues today but, alas, is now simply a tradition. 

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January 2018

Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut December 2, 2017 – March 4, 2018 The early 1960s marked a significant turning point in American printmaking: the rise of communal studios provided...

Cost: $10 adult, $8 senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

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Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut December 2, 2017 – March 4, 2018 The early 1960s marked a significant turning point in American printmaking: the rise of communal studios provided...

Cost: $10 adult, $8 senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

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Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut December 2, 2017 – March 4, 2018 The early 1960s marked a significant turning point in American printmaking: the rise of communal studios provided...

Cost: $10 adult, $8 senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

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Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut December 2, 2017 – March 4, 2018 The early 1960s marked a significant turning point in American printmaking: the rise of communal studios provided...

Cost: $10 adult, $8 senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

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Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut December 2, 2017 – March 4, 2018 The early 1960s marked a significant turning point in American printmaking: the rise of communal studios provided...

Cost: $10 adult, $8 senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Stroller tours at the KMA are a unique opportunity to connect with other new parents and caregivers seeking culturally enriching activities to share with their babies. These once-a-month...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. For more information and to...

Cost: Free

Where:
United Way of Westchester and Putnam
336 Central Avenue
White Plains, NY  10530
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Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: (914) 997-6700
Contact Name: Toyae Liverpool
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Part of our “Native American Story Telling Series” featuring Master Story Teller, Jonathan Kruk ‘STORY OF THE THREE SISTERS – BEANS, SQUASH, AND CORN’. ...

Cost: $10

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-6668448
Contact Name: Westmoreland Sanctuary
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Live Jazz Night with local Musician Michael-Louis Smith at the Carriage Barn Arts Center. Tickets $15 in advance / $20 at the door Visit the link below or call 203 594 3638 for tickets...

Cost: Tickets $15 in advance / $20 at the door

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
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Website »

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Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut December 2, 2017 – March 4, 2018 The early 1960s marked a significant turning point in American printmaking: the rise of communal studios provided...

Cost: $10 adult, $8 senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

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