1 January 2017

Origin of the New Years Eve Kiss

3,2,1... Purse your lips and pucker up... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Have you ever wondered what's behind the tradition of a smooch on new years eve, as the clock strikes twelve? Neither have I. However, that changed last night, on new years eve. For many years, I have known of the midnight tradition but, well, have never quite participated in it. That's not my fault, fully, it does take two to do this tango! 
If you think this tradition is a contemporary culmination of champagne, festivities and end of year resolutions, you're wrong. Locking lips at midnight goes back to the Ancient Romans who would celebrate the end of each year in the 'Festival of Saturnalia', where kissing at the turn of the year was common practice. Thousands of years later, you can thank the Romans (if you're going with this telling of the 'new years eve kissing' tale) for last night's new years eve kiss.

A long-ago folklore goes that the English and Germans believed that an exchange of saliva with the first person that one met in the incoming year would set the tone for the next 365 days to come. Imagine if 2017 was dictated by a new years eve kiss; I'm not sure about you, but in that case, my 2017 isn't looking so good!

We've dealt with Romans, Germans, the English and now we're staying in Europe where masquerade balls, which have their beginnings in the 16th century Renaissance, could possibly be the reason that we smooch at the turn of the year. Some believed that any evil spirits, symbolized in the masks, would disappear once the mask was removed and two people locked lips.

Which ever (or neither) one of these tales you believe in, kissing a loved one (yes, even on the cheek) in the new year, to me, shows a closeness and a sense of gratitude towards one another. Imagine, this person is going to have to endure another 365 days or 525600 minutes of this year, and they chose to spend that very first minute with you. 

Whether your tongue danced with another's last night, or your lips pecked a soft (or furry) cheek...or even if your lips smacked together chewing down on a golden covered, dark caramel speckled creme brulee, you now know where the tradition of the new years eve kiss comes from.

Happy 2017!

Till next time-


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  1. Ahaha I never knew about this! Guess I can add this piece of info to my belt xx


    1. A new nugget of information is always helpful!

  2. Hey,
    I never heard about this tradition but it's quite interesting to read about it. Have a wonderful new year 2017.

    1. I thought this comment was very interesting when I first saw it.
      I wrongly took for granted that this was a global tradition. I, ashamedly, had presumed this would apply to everyone everywhere.

      Do you have any New Years Eve traditions that are quirky?


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