Why is it a tradition to kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve?
There’s a lot to look forward to on New Year’s Eve: parties, champagne, the promise of starting a new year with a clean slate. But who are you going to kiss at midnight? It’s a tradition that makes kids squirm, induces stress in singletons, and is happily anticipated by those who are romantically attached.
Folklore suggests that whoever you kiss at the stroke of midnight could bring you good (or bad) fortune during the coming year. The Scottish tradition of Hogmanay is to welcome friends and strangers with warm hospitality to wish everyone a good New Year.
The New Year’s Eve kiss stems from the ancient European practice of driving evil spirits away from the fledgling New Year. According to German and English folk beliefs, special significance is attached to the first person one encounters in the New Year. There’s even an old superstition that failing to kiss someone at midnight is an omen of a year’s worth of loneliness. That might explain the results of a recent survey conducted for a mouthwash manufacturer that found that six percent of Americans are planning to kiss their cats when the clock strikes midnight.
So this year when the clock strikes twelve, will you kiss someone for meaning, for fun, or for tradition?