You’re at a New Year’s Eve Party about to ring in the New Year. It’s almost midnight. You look around for who you’ll be kissing at midnight… but wait! Why do we have this tradition of kissing someone at midnight anyway?
The Origins of the New Year Kiss
The tradition of kissing at midnight is a tradition borrowed from the Roman era, from the Winter Solstice festival of Saturnalia.
Not only is Saturnalia behind this New Year’s Eve tradition, but it is also responsible for many of our Christmas traditions (written about here), including the customs of kissing under the mistletoe, and putting up Christmas wreaths and trees.
But why do we kiss at midnight? What does the kiss represent?
Some say the New Year Kiss represented an eradication and purification of evil spirits from the year that’s just gone, setting you in good stead for a fresh new year.
In more modern times further superstitions arose around the New Year kiss; the main superstition being that this kiss would set the tone of your coming year.